Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Gunman Opens Fire and Kills Two in US Cinema

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Gunman Opens Fire and Kills Two in US Cinema

Article excerpt

A GUNMAN sitting in a packed cinema stood up about 20 minutes into the film and began firing into the crowd, killing two and wounding at least nine others before fatally shooting himself.

The gunman initially tried escaping by blending into the fleeing crowd, but turned back when he saw police heading inside from the car park, authorities said.

Officers tailing him back into the cinema in the city of Lafayette, Louisiana, then heard a single gunshot and found him dead inside, police said.

They described the gunman as a 58-year-old "lone white male" with a criminal history but did not immediately disclose his name.

Lafayette police chief Jim Craft said the gunman was by himself and started the rampage by shooting the two people sitting in front of him.

At least one cinema-goer described the attack, saying an older man stood up about 20 minutes into the 7.10pm showing of the popular comedy Trainwreck and began shooting.

"We heard a loud pop we thought was a firecracker," Katie Domingue told The Advertiser, a local newspaper.

"He wasn't saying anything. I didn't hear anybody screaming either," said Ms Domingue, who added that she heard about six shots before she and her fiance ran to the nearest exit, leaving behind her shoes and purse. Stories of heroism immediately began to emerge with presidential hopeful Louisiana governor Bobby Jindal, who travelled to the scene within hours of the shooting, telling reporters that a teacher who was in the cinema jumped in front of a second teacher, saving her life. The second teacher then managed to pull a fire alarm to alert other members of the audience, he said.

"Her friend literally jumped over her and, by her account, actually saved her life," Mr Jindal said.

President Barack Obama was briefed on the shooting aboard Air Force One, while on his way to Africa for a two-nation visit, the White House said.

The shooting took place a week after the man who shot and killed 12 people at a cinema in Colorado in 2012, was convicted and on the day a jury said his attack was cruel enough to consider sentencing him to death. …

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