[UPDATED: 1:35 P.M. EST.]
A judge has denied Curtis Reeves bond in the shooting death of Chad Oulson. Reeves will remain in police custody until the case goes to trial. The retired police captain may be facing life in prison for the murder of Oulson.
The state may seek a new bond if there is another hearing in the future. If Reeves is given a bond in future, he will not allowed to carry weapons.
A screening of Lone Survivor turned deadly in Florida on Monday, when a retired Tampa SWAT police captain opened fire on a couple because the husband was texting.
Chad Oulson, the father of a 3-year-old daughter, was shot dead in the Wesley Chapel movie theater by Curtis Reeves after the two got into an altercation about the noise.
According to police reports, Oulson, 43, was texting his daughter inside the theater when Reeves exchanged words with him.
“The victim was on his cell phone; he was texting. We believe he was making some kind of noise. This noise led to an altercation between the suspect and the victim,” Sheriff Chris Nocco explained.
A witness recalled seeing the agitated man — later identified by deputies as Curtis Reeves — get up and leave in an apparent attempt to find a manager. When he came back alone, the argument escalated.
Charles Cummings, a witness to the shooting, says Reeves then pulled out his pistol.
“Their voices start going up, there seems to be a confrontation, somebody throws popcorn, then bang, he was shot,” said Cummings, who was there to celebrate his birthday. “I heard the victim say, ‘I can’t believe…,’ then he fell on us.”
“I asked if the guy was OK, and he started gurgling blood and then fell,” recalled Cummings’ son, who said he ran to call 911.
Oulson’s wife, Nicole, was also wounded by the single shot. She was hit in her hand when she put it in front of her husband to protect him. She suffered non-life threatening injuries.
Following the shooting, an off-duty Sumter County deputy inside the theater was able to grab the gun and detain Reeves until deputies arrived.
Moments after he was named as the suspect, Tampa police issued a statement saying Reeves had retired back in 1993 as a captain.
“He was instrumental in establishing the department’s first Tactical Response Team,” the statement explained. “We are not aware of any contact with the department since his departure more than 20 years ago.”
Reeves was charged with second-degree murder. Sheriff Nocco says his detectives considered the controversial “Stand Your Ground” law, but determined it didn’t apply in this case.
The theater released the following statement on Monday afternoon:
“We are deeply saddened by the events that occurred earlier today, and our thoughts and prayers are with the victims and their families. The theatre is currently closed, and we are actively working with the sheriff’s office on this investigation. This was an isolated altercation between two guests that escalated unexpectedly. The safety, security and comfort of our guests and team members are always our top priorities, and we are truly heartbroken by this incident.”
Our condolences to the Oulson family.