WDAY: The News Leader

Published January 14, 2014, 06:28 PM

Texting in movie theater results in murder

Fargo, N.D. (WDAY TV) -An argument over texting in a movie theater near Tampa turned deadly yesterday.

By: WDAY Staff Reports , WDAY

Fargo, N.D. (WDAY TV) -An argument over texting in a movie theater near Tampa turned deadly yesterday.

A retired police officer is behind bars, accused of murdering a man who wouldn't be quiet or stop texting before the film started.

Today, Florida authorities brought second-degree murder charges against 71-year-old Curtis Reeves, a retired police captain.

"I am ruling that there is no bond."

Reeves is accused of fatally shooting a man sitting in front of him at this upscale movie theater.

It was showing the new Mark Wahlberg war film "Lone Survivor."

Police say before the matinee began 43-year-old Chad Oulson and his wife Nicole were reportedly talking loudly and texting.

Sheriff Chris Nocco: "Curtis Reeves asked him a few times to please turn off his phone, Chad decided not to.”

According to this arrest warrant, Reeves got fed up and stormed out of the theater to get the manager but came back alone. Then, the two men started arguing.

Oulson tried to explain that he was texting his young daughter. Then, according to witnesses, the retired officer pulled out his 380 semi-automatic handgun.

Charles Cummings, eyewitness: "Someone throws popcorn. I’m not sure who threw the popcorn and then bang, he was shot.”

An off duty nurse rushed to help, but couldn't revive the man.

Oulson's wife was wounded apparently trying to shield her husband from the gunshot, using her bare hand. Oulson's friends are distraught.

Joseph Trapani, a family friend: “Just a good all-around guy. You know father of a beautiful little girl. Just a tragic loss.”

In a statement, Cobb Theaters said it was "deeply saddened" by the shooting. The building remains closed as the investigation continues.

A Pasco County Sheriff's affidavit said Reeves told authorities that "he was in fear of being attacked" during the confrontation.