Retired Police Officer Shoots, Kills Man Because He Threw Popcorn

| by Jonathan Wolfe

On January 13, retired police officer Curtis Reeves shot and killed a man inside of a Tampa Bay, Fla., movie theatre. Family and witnesses met in court yesterday as officials tried to decide whether to grant Reeves bail. He has been in jail since January 13 on second-degree murder charges.

The fatal shooting took place during a screening of "Lone Survivor." The victim, 43-year-old Chad Oulson, was texting his daughter’s babysitter during the movie. Reeves complained to management about Oulson’s texting. Moments later, Oulson checked a voicemail left on his phone from the babysitter. That’s when Reeves lost it.

After Reeves complained to Oulson for checking the voicemail, Oulson said, “Do you mind? I’ve got a voicemail from my babysitter. I’d like to see if my daughter is okay.”

When Reeves continued to pester Oulson about his phone use, Oulson got up and threw a bag of popcorn at him.

“Almost immediately, the gun came out, the shot was fired and [the gun] went back into Mr. Reeves' lap,” a witness said.

Oulson cried out, “I can’t believe he shot me,”  and died moments later.

Following the shooting, Reeves’ wife turned to him and said, “That was no cause to shoot someone.”   

Reeves responded by pointing his finger at her and saying, “You shut your [expletive] mouth and don’t say another word.”

A little while later, Reeves was heard exclaiming, “I can’t believe what I’ve done!”

The judge did not decide on Wednesday whether to grant Reeves bail. His family said they were willing to use the $186,000 collateral from their home as a payment.

Reeves pleaded not guilty to the murder charge. His defense team argued that he was acting out of self-defense since Oulson first committed battery by throwing popcorn at him. In most states, trying to justify murder as self-defense because someone threw popcorn at you would be laughed at. But this is Florida, so who knows?

Reeves’ next hearing is scheduled for Friday.

Sources: CNN, Mail Online