An unknown shooterÂ opened fire Thursday night in a theater in Lafayette, Louisiana, killing threeÂ people before convicting suicide, police reports.
The man, who was later identified as John Russel Houser, 59, was described by local authoritiesÂ as a drifter who was living in a motel nearby.
Police have alreadyÂ identified the two victims:Â Mayci Breaux.22. and Jillian Johnson,33. Nine other people were also injured during the shooting.
Lafayette Police Department Chief Jim Craft said in a press conference on Friday that the gunmanÂ was originally from Alabama and had been in Lafayette since early July.
HouserÂ fired 13 shots with a .40-caliber handgunÂ and had parked his car near The Grand 16 Theatre’s exit door. The criminal tried to escape after what he’d done but he failed as police arrived at the scene shortly after the first shots.Â “It is apparent that he was intent on shooting and escaping,” the Police Chief supposed.
Craft went on, adding thatÂ authorities haven’t yet figured out a motive for the accident.Â “The shooter is deceased. We may never know,” Craft said.
However, policeÂ thorouhly searched a hotel where the killerÂ was staying and found wigs and disguises.
The attack took placeÂ 20 minutes into the 7 p.m. screening of the comedy “Trainwreck.”
That’s not the firts crime Houser was involved in. Previously he was caught when selling alcohol to a minor and later he was accused of arson. His Linkedin page claims that the man owned two bars in Louisiana, one from 1998 to 2000 and another from 1979 to 1980.
“Other than that we havenâ€™t really found anything else on him, he seems to be estranged from his family,â€ť CraftÂ said.
Tanya Clark, a witness, was buying popcorn with her daughter when she saw a group of peopleÂ runningÂ out of the movie theatre saingÂ “tell everyone to run for their life”.
At first, the womanÂ thought it was a sort of a prank, but when more people ran out screaming she realised thatÂ something serious had happened.
The witnessÂ also describes seeing a lady “with blood all over her leg”.Â “I just grabbed my child, I mean, we all ran,” said Ms Clark.
“He wasn’t saying anything. I didn’t hear anybody screaming either,” Katie Domingue, who was watching the film with her fiance, told aÂ local newspaper.
Authorities saidÂ that about a dozen of people were heavily injured withÂ three of them currently staying in bad condition. One person underwent surgery and “was not doing well,” Craft revealed.
“This is a normal movie theater in a normal part of a normal town. This is Anywhere, USA,” he said.Â “This just shows these senseless acts of violence can literally happen anywhere.”
President Barack Obama, who was traveling to Kenya on Friday, received a briefing about the shooting during a refueling stop in Germany, said White House spokesman Josh Earnest.
“The thoughts and prayers of everyone at the White House, including the President and First Lady, are with the community of Lafayette, Louisiana, especially the families of those who were killed,” a statement reads.
Trainwreck’s actress and writer, comedian Amy Schumer tweeted, “My heart is broken and all my thoughts and prayers are with everyone in Louisiana.”