On the left, the police respond to the shooting at Grand 16 Theatre in Lafayette, LA on Thursday night. Two women pay their respects to the victims and survivors of the shooting on Friday, July 24, 2015.
Photos Courtesy: Louisiana State Police, KATC-TV, Facebook, abcnewsgo.com
Updated Saturday July 25, 2015
Three people were killed and 9 others wounded when a gunman opened fire at the Grand Theatre in Lafayette, Louisiana Thursday night. Louisiana State Police, Lafayette Police and law enforcement responded to a “active shooter” at the theater at 3141 Johnston Street around 7:30 p.m. Thursday. Moviegoers were there to watch the comedy, “Trainwreck” when they heard shots fired.
Lafayette Police identified the shooter as John Russell Houser, 59, from Phenix City, Alabama. Police described him as “a drifter.” They say Houser died from a self-inflicted gunshot after he was cornered by police. Authorities say he was in the theater for 20 minutes before he started firing randomly. Houser, estranged from his wife, also had a history of mental illness and domestic violence, court documents say.
Photo Courtesy: Lafayette Police Department
Mayci Breaux, 21, W/F of Franklin, LA, died at the scene. Jillian Johnson, 33, W/F of Lafayette, LA died at a local hospital.
Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal at the scene said it was an awful night for Lafayette, the state of Louisiana and the entire country. Jindal asked the public for prayers and “showers of love” for Lafayette.
During the chaos inside the theater, two teachers were heroic, Jindal told reporters.
Video Courtesy: CNN.com, KATC-TV
The governor also thanked first responders.
“They did an amazing job even while they still heard shots fired, running towards the theater, towards danger,” said Gov. Jindal on CNN.com.
State and FBI bomb technicians also searched Houser’s vehicle, a 1995 blue Lincoln parked at the theater. No explosive devices were found in the sedan, the theater and theater parking lot. Houser’s car had several suspicious items inside, including several wigs and pairs of eyeglasses, according to Louisiana State Police.
Investigators also searched Houser’s room at the Motel 6 in Lafayette. Lafayette Police Chief Jim Craft said they found wigs, glasses and disguises in his room.
Lafayette Police is asking the public to contact law enforcement if they had any contact with Houser at this phone number, 337-291-8650