Three Dead, Including Suspect, in Shooting at Lafayette, Louisiana Movie Theater
Three people, including the perpetrator, are dead and nine are wounded after an active shooter situation in a Lafayette, Louisiana movie theater at approximately 8 p.m. on Thursday night.
Authorities have confirmed that 58-year-old John Russell Houser, acting alone, stood up during a viewing of the movie "Trainwreck" and began firing from a hand gun. He killed two moviegoers and injured others before eventually turning the gun on himself at the Grand 16 Theater on one of the city's main thoroughfare.
Of the nine people shot during the incident, one was released from the hospital while another in critical condition underwent surgery overnight. The condition of the surviving victims is currently unknown, though as of late Thursday evening at least three were listed in critical condition.
President Obama was briefed on the situation aboard Air Force One while en route to Africa on a diplomatic visit. He expressed his grief and offered his sympathy to those affected by the tragic shooting.
Live updates from overnight appear below.
UPDATE (11:42 p.m. CT): An official with the Louisiana State Police told The New York Times that at this time investigators do not believe the shooter had an existing relationship with any of the approximately 100 moviegoers in attendance.
UPDATE (11:38 p.m. CT): Lafayette Police Chief Jim Craft has told reporters that one of the seven shooting victims has been released from the hospital, but notes that another victim is "not doing so well" in surgery.
UPDATE (11:30 p.m. CT): The area near the shooter's vehicle has been evacuated after authorities noticed a suspicious package, the Associated Press reports.
UPDATE (11:20 p.m. CT): Actress Amy Schumer, whose movie Trainwreck was showing in the theater where the shooting took place, tweeted that she is "heartbroken."
UPDATE (11:12 p.m. CT): Amid the tragedy, KPEL shares the story of one act of heroism during the shooting. An unidentified person, said to be a teacher, jumped in front of a bullet to shield a friend. Despite sustaining injury, they were able to reach the fire alarm and pull it.
UPDATE: (10:50 p.m. CT): CNN is reporting that the weapon used in the shooting was a handgun.
UPDATE (10:23 p.m. CT): Authorities have yet to release the name of the deceased 58-year-old shooter, but report that he died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound. Police have said they are aware of the man's identity but are withholding it pending further investigating into his background.
UPDATE (10:17 p.m. CT): Of the seven people injured during the shooting, three are considered critical.
UPDATE (10:05 p.m. CT): Authorities have confirmed that there are now three people dead in the incident, including the shooter. This report comes from the Associated Press.
UPDATE (10:01 p.m. CT): Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal is on scene and has commended law enforcement for their actions throughout the shooting.
"As governor, as a father and as a husband, whenever we see these or hear about these senseless acts of violence it makes us both furious and sad at the same time," Jindal said.
UPDATE (9:46 p.m. CT): Police Sgt. David Brooks tells CNN that the shooter was a 58-year-old white male has been identified as the shooter. He is believed to have acted alone in and is now dead.
UPDATE (9:41 p.m. CT): Police are confirming that two are dead, one of them the shooter, and nine are injured in the incident. The victims have been transported to area hospitals. This report comes via 96.5 KPEL in Lafayette.
This is a breaking news story. Check back frequently for updates.