Florida Theater Shooting Leaves One Dead, One Wounded

Florida Theater Shooting

A Florida theater shooting has left one dead and one wounded following a dispute about texting that erupted into chaos.  The argument occurred when a retired police captain got into a heated argument with a couple who was texting during movie previews and blew up when the man wouldn’t stop.

During a screening of Lone Survivor at Wesley Chapel, Florida’s Cobb Grove 16 Theater, retired Tampa police officer Curtis Reeves, 71, was sitting with his wife when he noticed a couple a few rows in front of them texting during the film’s previews.  He’d asked the husband, identified as Chad Oulson, to stop texting several times, and when Oulson wouldn’t, Reeves left the theater briefly.

On Reeves’ return, Oulson asked him if Reeves reported the texting to theater management.  That sparked an argument between the two men that ended when Reeves pulled out a .380 pistol and shot Oulson in the chest.  Oulson was watching the film with his wife, Nichole, who was also injured.

Two nurses who were in attendance during the Florida theater shooting jumped into action in a fruitless effort to save Chad’s life.  Nichole Oulson was taken to Tampa General Hospital with non-life threatening injuries.  Chad Oulson was pronounced dead on arrival at the hospital.  There was also an off-duty Sumter County deputy in the theater, who quickly moved to subdue Reeves.

Reports are that Nichole Oulson was injured when she put her hand in front of her husband in an effort to stop him from being injured when the gun went off. Immediately following the Florida theater shooting, Reeves sat back down and put the semi-automatic handgun in his lap.

The Florida theater shooting that left one dead and one wounded came as a complete stunner, particularly to those who were aware the argument was essentially over the Oulsons’ refusal to stop texting when asked.  Police are shocked that an argument over texting would escalate to the extent that it did.

Reeves was identified by the Tampa Police Department as the man who helped establish the department’s first SWAT team.  The department said that they hadn’t had any contact with Reeves since his 1993 retirement.

The theater had approximately 25 people in for the Lone Survivor screening, and was immediately evacuated following the tragedy.  Cobb Theaters, the parent company, said in a statement that it was truly “heartbroken” over the incident and was completely cooperating with police in the matter.  Currently, the theater is adorned with police tape as the Pasco County Sheriff’s Department conduct their investigation into the matter.

The Pasco County Sheriff’s Department referred to those in the theater who administered CPR on Chad Oulson and the off-duty deputy who restrained Reeves until deputies arrived as heroes.  Responding deputies took Reeves into custody immediately upon their arrival at the theater.

According to My Fox Tampa Bay, Chad Oulson told Reeves he was texting his three-year-old daughter at the time of the dispute.  Reeves has since been charged with second degree homicide.

The Wesley Chapel, Florida theater’s shooting that has left one dead and one injured has also left a daughter without her father.  Chad Oulson’s Facebook page shows he and his young family as living in Land O’ Lakes and having a little girl.  Sheriff Chris Nocco was stunned over the Florida theater shooting, referring to the shooting as “crazy”.

By Christina St-Jean


My Fox Tampa Bay


New York Daily News

ABC News

Chad Oulson’s Facebook page 

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