LAFAYETTE, LA – Terror at a movie theater when a gunman described as a drifter, opened fire, killing two women, injuring nine others, before killing himself.
Cops say the killer was 59-year-old John Russell Houser, a drifter from Alabama who had been in Lafayette just a few weeks, staying at a local motel where police found wigs and other disguises.
Cops think he planned to get away after the shootings.
“The quick law enforcement response forced him back into the theater, at which time he shot himself,” said Lafayette police chief Jim Craft.
The victims are 21-year-old Mayci Breaux and 33-year-old Jillian Johnson.
Police say Houser fired at least 13 rounds from a semi-automatic handgun.
One woman, shot in the leg, got to the fire alarm and pulled it as the complex’s 300 movie-goers evacuated.
“Here we are in Lafayette, Louisiana, in the middle of a neighborhood at a movie theater,” said Col. Michael Edmonson of the Louisiana State Police. “ Why did he come there? Why did he do that? We don’t know that.”
Court records show Houser was treated for mental health issues six years ago, and was denied a concealed carry permit in 2006 because of an earlier arson arrest.
“He seems to be estranged from his family, we talked to some of the family members last night who haven’t seen him or don’t have very much contact with him,” said Chief Craft.
Sadly, the last people to have contact with him, paid for it with their lives.