What we know about Louisiana movie theater shooting suspect – Yahoo News
A gunman killed two people and wounded at least nine others during a showing of “Trainwreck” at a movie theater in Louisiana.
The 59-year-old “lone white male” opened fire about 20 minutes into the film Thursday evening at the Grand 16 theater in Lafayette, roughly 60 miles west of Baton Rouge.
Authorities identified the shooting suspect as John Russel Houser. It appears that he turned the gun on himself after unsuccessfully trying to flee by blending in with the crowd, according to police.
Police officers say they found him dead inside the theater after hearing a single gunshot ring out.
“He previously resided in the state of Alabama. He’s kind of a drifter. He’s been in Lafayette since early July as far as we can tell,” Lafayette Police Chief Jim Craft said during a news conference Friday morning.
Houser is originally from Phenix City, Ala. but had bounced around before ending up at a local Motel 6, authorities said.
Police searched the room they think he was staying in and found wigs, glasses and other items that could be used as a disguise, they said.
A Columbus, Ga. woman, who wished to remain anonymous, told Yahoo News that she had purchased a home that Houser once shared with his wife. The suspect eventually lived in the house alone for two years without making any payments, she said.
“You don’t know crazy. You don’t know what we went through with that house,” she said to Yahoo News over the phone. “He had lots and lots of problems.
The woman said Houser came from a “fine family in Columbus” – his mother was a schoolteacher and his father was tax commissioner for Columbus. He used to attend church services years ago, she said.
She added that Houser once attended law school but dropped out.
“We’ve been up all night with the FBI,” she said. “He was dangerous. I’m just so glad that no more people were hurt than was hurt. It’s sad. We’re sad.”
Houser had been arrested several times from 10 to 15 years ago for several charges, including arson, selling alcohol to a minor and speeding, according to The Associated Press.
Jim Mustian, a journalist for The New Orleans Advocate, citing a local sheriff, said that Houser was denied a pistol permit in 2006 in Russell County, Ala.
The suspect’s Linkedin profile describes him an entrepreneur in “investment management.” He claimed to have owned two pubs in Georgia and to have tried his hand at real estate development in 2006.
He pursued a Bachelor of Business Administration at Columbus State University from 1985 until 1988 and a Juris Doctorate (law degree) at Faulkner University in Montgomery, Ala., his profile said.
In 1993, Houser guest-hosted the “Rise and Shine” radio show on WLTZ NBC 38 for more than 60 episodes, according to the LinkedIn page.
“Invited political controversy on every one of them, and loved every minute of it,” he said.
It appears that Houser was a member of Tea Party Nation, according to the group’s website.
Authorities identified the young women he murdered as Macy Breaux, 21, and Jillian Johnson, 33, and said another person is in critical condition.
Houser’s apparent getaway vehicle had a switched license plates on it and was parked near a cinema exit door, Craft said.
“It is apparent that he was intent on shooting and then escaping,” he added.
The shooting occurred just a week after James Holmes was convicted in the movie theater shooting in Aurora, Colo.