Louisiana theater shooting: A 'horrific' scene

Posted at 8:39 AM, Jul 24, 2015
and last updated 2015-07-24 14:03:12-04

A 59-year-old man described by police as a "drifter" was apparently acting alone when he shot up a movie theater in Louisiana on Thursday night.

John Russel Houser, formerly of Alabama, killed two people and injured nine others in the incident, according to law enforcement officials in Lafayette.

The victims were identified as 21-year-old Mayci Breaux and 33-year-old Jillian Johnson; both were white women. Houser was also killed, after turning a gun on himself when faced by police. Investigators described the scene inside the theater as "pretty horrific" at a press conference on Friday morning.

At about 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, Houser fired "at least 13 rounds" from a .40 caliber handgun, according to investigators. Houser was apparently acting alone and appeared to be intent on escaping the scene after the shooting. Police said they found his vehicle parked near the theater's exit.

Officials credited the fast response of police and emergency medical teams with stopping Houser's escape and keeping the fatality count low.

"Twelve ambulances were here within six minutes," according to one Lafayette police official. As of Friday morning, two of the injured victims had been released from hospital care and one was in critical condition.

Police said they had "very little information" about Houser but said he had been in Lafayette since at least "early July." Police searched the hotel room Houser where had been living on Friday morning and found "wigs and disguises."

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