Retired Tampa Police Captain Curtis Reeves Shoots And Kills Chad Oulson For Texting Inside A Movie Theater

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Normal Retired Tampa Police Captain Curtis Reeves Shoots And Kills Chad Oulson For Texting Inside A Movie Theater

Post by NiteSpinR on Tue Jan 14, 2014 7:36 pm

January 14, 2014





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The retired Tampa police captain accused of gunning down a man texting during a Mark Wahlberg war movie will be arraigned on a second-degree murder charge Tuesday in a Florida court.

Curtis Reeves Jr., 71, is charged with shooting Chad Oulson, 43, the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office said Monday, after a verbal and physical confrontation.

Chad Oulson was pronounced dead at a hospital, and his wife, Nichole, was treated for a gunshot wound to her hand.

“To have a retired police officer — I don’t know what he was thinking at the time,” Pasco County Sheriff Chris Nocco told reporters. “I can tell you, anybody, over a cellphone, to take their life, it's ridiculous.”

Reeves remained in Pasco County jail overnight Monday, and a judge could decide Tuesday whether to set bail.

Officials are crediting an off-duty sheriff’s deputy from neighboring Sumter County for detaining Reeves at the Grove 16 Theatre in Wesley Chapel, north of Tampa. The deputy also secured the weapon, described as a .380-calber handgun, until Pasco authorities arrived, Nocco said.

“He was a true hero in there. He reacted,” said Nocco, who also praised the efforts of two nurses who were in the theater and tried to save Oulson's life.

Nocco said that when when the first emergency calls came in, his mind immediately turned to recent shootings at schools and movie theaters, an apparent reference to the mass killings at a theater in Aurora, Colo., in July 2012, and at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., just five months later.

“Hearing what we heard, we were prepared for a large incident, but I want to reiterate this was just an isolated incident,” he said.
“This situation over a cellphone use — to escalate that high, I can tell you it's very scary,” he said. “Or the fact it's a movie theater or, you know, a place such as a school, where people have a belief that they should be in a movie theater to relax or a school to learn and have it arise to this kind of level.”

Nocco said the tragedy unfolded after Reeves became outraged over something trivial: “somebody texting.”

Reeves and his wife were sitting behind the Oulsons as the preview trailers were rolling just before the showing of “Lone Survivor,” the Mark Wahlberg movie about a failed 2007 Navy Seal raid in Afghanistan, investigators said.

Reeves asked Chad Oulson several times to stop, to no avail, Nocco said. He then left the theater to complain to the theater's management before returning to his seat, the sheriff said.

Upon his return, “Chad Oulson then starts confronting him verbally, starts saying: ‘Oh, did you go in there and start complaining on me? Did you tell the staff about me?’” Nocco said.

“This verbal altercation starts getting louder and louder. During this altercation, it goes from a verbal to a physical altercation,” he said.

Then, “the suspect, Curtis Reeves, pulled out a gun,” Nocco said.

Only one shot was fired, Nocco said. Nichole Oulson was wounded in the hand when she grabbed her husband as Reeves pulled the trigger, he said.

The theater's operator, Cobb Theatres, said in a statement that it was “truly heartbroken by this incident” and that it was cooperating with investigators.

Reeves retired as a captain from the Tampa Police Department in 1993, said Laura McElroy, a spokeswoman for the department, adding that Reeves helped set up the department's first SWAT team.

“We are not aware of any contact with the department since his departure more than 20 years ago,” she said in a statement.

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Normal 'I Can't Believe What I've Done!'

Post by NiteSpinR on Wed Feb 05, 2014 9:27 pm

Were the first words of ex police captain after he gunned down father over texting in movie theater.

2/5/2014

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Curtis Reeves appeared in Pasco County Court today as he attempts to be released on bail after shooting dead a fellow moviegoer who was texting. Reeves teared up as his daughter acted as a character witness

A Tampa, Florida police captain exclaimed 'I can't believe what I've done' after fatally shooting a fellow moviegoer because he was texting, a witness said.

Alan Hamilton, a Sumter County cop, was inside the West Chapel screening of Lone Survivor and watched as 71-year-old police officer Curtis Reeves shot dead 43-year-old Chad Oulson.

He and other witnesses gave their account of events in Pasco County court today as Reeves asks to be released on bail. He has been in jail without bond ever since the January 13 shooting.

Witness Mark Turner overheard the fight, and said he heard Oulson say: 'Do you mind, I've got a voicemail from by babysitter. I'd like to check to see that my daughter is okay.'

After more requests to stop using his phone, Oulson got up and threw a small bag of popcorn at Reeves, Turner said.

'Almost immediately the gun came out, the shot was fired and it went back into Mr. Reeves' lap,' Turner said.

Hamilton remembers Reeves yelling at his wife after the incident, after she said 'That was no cause to shoot anyone.'

'He leaned back around and stuck his finger out as to scold her and said, "You shut your [expletive] mouth and don't say another word,"' Hamilton testified.

Reeves officially plead not-guilty today to second-degree murder, with his defense lawyers arguing that Reeves was defending himself from Oulson, who committed battery by throwing an unknown object and a bag of popcorn at the older man.They also say Reeves is entitled to special legal protection because of his advanced age.

According to Hamilton's testimony, Reeves approached him after the shooting and said: 'I just got hit by something and look at my eye'.

But Hamilton says he didn't see any injury on Reeves' face.

Both Hamilton and Turner say they didn't see Oulson hit or punch Reeves.

These new perspectives on the fatal altercation came the same day that family and friends of Reeves acted as character witnesses for the accused murderer.

Thomas DePolis, who worked with Reeves to create a SWAT team for the Tampa Police department said: 'There's nothing in my affiliation with him that would lead me to believe that he's a danger.'

Reeves 40-year-old daughter Jennifer Shaw also testified on her father's behalf, describing him as a man who dedicated his time to his family and went to church every Sunday.

'My father was present at everything. My parents seemed to realize that investing time in your family was the most important thing,' Ms Shaw said.

She said all the weapons have been removed from the house she shares with her parents by her brother who is a Tampa police officer.

The family are willing to put their $186,000 house as collateral for bond.

The judge didn't make a decision on whether to release Reeves today. His bail hearing will continue on Friday.

However, the judge did decide that surveillance footage from the movie theater would be aired in court and released 30-days after.

It is not clear though whether that footage will be available to view by the general public.

Florida has some of the broadest public records laws in the nation.

Almost any document released to the defense in a court case can be open to the public.

However, they changed the law in 2011 to exempt photographs, video or audio recordings that depict or record the killing of a person.


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Normal August 24, 2015 Trial Date Set For Accused Theater Shooter Curtis Reeves

Post by NiteSpinR on Mon Mar 23, 2015 8:40 pm

Jan 29, 2015

Curtis Reeves Jr. could go to trial Aug. 24 in a tentative schedule hammered out Thursday in an hour-long court hearing.

Judge Pat Siracusa suggested scheduling the trial a month sooner, but Reeves’ lawyer said it could be difficult getting the large number of witnesses in the case – at least 100 will have given depositions by the trial’s start – in town during the summer.

“It’s going to be crucial that we get everybody here for this particular trial,” said Richard Escobar, Reeves' lawyer. “We just can’t hope people don’t go on vacation."

“I understand, but this isn’t an invitation to a tea party you can politely decline. These subpoenas are orders of the court and this is a murder trial....So if we have to cancel some vacations, we’re going to do that,” Siracusa said.

If the trial begins on schedule, it will have been more than a year and a half since Reeves, a former Tampa Police captain, was charged in the fatal shooting of Chad Oulson on Jan. 13, 2014, in a Cobb CineBistro theater in Wesley Chapel.

He faces a second-degree murder charge.

Reeves and his wife were sitting behind Chad Oulson and his wife, Nicole, in the theater when Reeves asked Oulson to stop texting before the movie, according to law enforcement. The argument escalated and that's when Reeves pulled out a handgun and shot Oulson, 43, in the chest.

Oulson's wife tried to shield her husband from the shot, law enforcement said, but the bullet went through her hand.

During Thursday’s hearing, Escobar told the judge witnesses were proving to have more information than they gave in their statements to law enforcement. He estimated he had about 40 more of approximately 100 witnesses who needed to give depositions.

Escobar said they’re also reviewing architectural drawings of the theaters.

The lawyers and judge also scheduled tentative pretrial hearings for April 30, May 28 and June 30.

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Normal Witness List Hints At Self-Defense Argument In Theater-Shooting Case

Post by NiteSpinR on Tue Sep 15, 2015 10:29 pm

SEP 15 2015

Self-defense, not murder: That's what Curtis Reeves told detectives after he shot Chad Oulson to death inside a movie theater nearly two years ago.

We are getting the first look at the defense team's witness list, which is 7 pages long and it reveals an aggressive argument of self-defense.

Headlining the all-star witness list is retired FBI agent Bruce Koenig. He's known for analyzing some of the most famous video and audio clips in history -- like the JFK assassination, President Nixon's Watergate tapes, video of the shooting of President Reagan, and the Linda Tripp/Monica Lewinski recordings.

Expect Koenig to break down the surveillance video in the movie theater shooting, frame by frame, for the jury -- from a cell phone and popcorn being thrown at Reeves to reeves firing the fatal shot that killed Oulson.

Attorney Anthony Rickman analyzed the video for FOX 13 last year. "It shows Oulson in a position of dominance over reeves who is sitting back he then snatches the popcorn throws it and shots are fired."

Another high profile witness is Dr. Philip Hayden. The retired FBI special agent teaches tactical and defensive concepts for law enforcement officers.

Expect Dr. Hayden to reconstruct the crime scene for the jury and explain why Reeves, a former Tampa police captain, felt his life was in eminent danger -- just as he told detectives right after the shooting.

Jamira Dixon is also on the witness list. She made national headlines after the shooting by claiming Reeves lashed out at her a month before at the same theater. But under oath, she changed her story.

Reeves is accused of shooting Oulson at a Wesley Chapel movie theater after a dispute over texting. Before the shooting, Oulson -- who was on a date with his wife -- claimed he was texting with his daughter.

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Normal Curtis Reeves' Attorney Files "Stand Your Ground" Defense Motion

Post by NiteSpinR on Tue Nov 10, 2015 5:09 pm

11/9/2015

A motion filed in the Curtis Reeves case details why his attorneys want to use a Stand Your Ground defense.

The 50-page document says popcorn was flying.

"The moment he snatched the popcorn away from Mr. Reeves, he committed a forcible felony against him, " said attorney Anthony Rickman, who is not connected to the case but reviewed the documents.

A cell phone with a heavy protective case was thrown at Reeves.

"The weight of that phone, with the OtterBox on it, weighed more than a cue ball," said Rickman.

The motion also attempts to explain why a gun was fired.

"I had to use force that was necessary to save myself and protect myself and I used that force by shooting Oulson," Rickman said, speaking from Reeves' point of view.

Those are just some the arguments being made in the Stand Your Ground motion filed by attorneys for Reeves.

"They are going to ask the judge to put herself in Reeves position based on his age, his experience, all of things he's dealt with his life in law enforcement," said Rickman.

The retired Tampa police captain, who was 71 at the time, is accused of fatally shooting 43-year-old Chad Oulson in a Wesley Chapel movie theater during a dispute over texting.

"One thing that people ask is, 'Why is he even in the movie theater with a gun in the first place?'" said Rickman.

In the motion, Reeves' attorneys said Florida law allows retired and off-duty law enforcement officers to carry a gun into a movie theater or anywhere else.

Reeves wasn't the only one with a gun in the movie theater that day.

"That off-duty officer who disarmed Mr Reeves, he also had a gun on him. He wasn't even working," added Rickman.

The lead detective in Reeves' case admitted he does the same thing.

"The detective admits in depositions that he himself, off-duty, carries a firearm inside that same movie theater," said Rickman.

Reeves' attorneys said the cell phone thrown by Oulson weighed more than a cue ball or baseball because of the OtterBox protective case. Because of that, they said it is considered a deadly weapon, "

"If Mr. Oulson had taken a cue ball out of his pocket and threw it at Reeves' face, of course you would say that's a deadly weapon," said Rickman.

Florida's Stand Your Ground law allows you to meet force with force if you feel your life is in eminent danger.

Rickman thinks Reeves has a pretty convincing case.

"I'm 71 years old, I'm frail, I had hip surgery because of a simple fall," said Rickman, again speaking from Reeves point of view. "This man is 6 foot 4 inches and he is towering over me. He's made threats against me, he's thrown something at me. What Reeves is going to argue is that I had reason to believe, based on all these circumstances, I was going to be a victim."

The defense will argue all of these points during a hearing in late January. Reeves is expected to take the stand and if he loses the motion, he will go to trial and let a jury decide his fate.


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Normal Re: Retired Tampa Police Captain Curtis Reeves Shoots And Kills Chad Oulson For Texting Inside A Movie Theater

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