Multiple Fatalities Confirmed In Louisiana Movie Theater Shooting

by Meredith B. Kile 9:25 PM PDT, July 23, 2015
Photo: AP

A gunman opened fire during a screening of Amy Schumer's movieĀ Trainwreck at a movie theater in Lafayette, Louisiana, on Thursday, according to multiple reports.

Lafayette PD Corporal Paul Mouton confirmed to ET that police responded to a report of a shooting at the Grand Theater at approximately 7:30 pm, central time.

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"The shooting occurred in one of the auditoriums and there are confirmed fatalities with multiple victims injured," Mouton told ET.

The Lafayette police department's Twitter account also tweeted about the shooting.

Lousiana Governor Bobby Jindal tweeted that he was on his way to Lafayette Thursday night, asking followers to "Please say a prayer for the victims at Grand Theatre and their families."

Lafayette Police Chief Jim Craft confirmed three fatalities, including the gunman who was in his 50s.

Police tell ET they have identified the alleged shooter as John Russell Houser.

Two people were pronounced dead at the scene, one victim and the suspected shooter, according to law enforcement. Nine people were transported to area hospitals by ambulances and one person transported to an area hospital by a private party. One of the victims transported to a hospital was later pronounced dead.

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ET spoke with a witness from the scene, Jalen Fernell, who was in an adjacent theater watching a screening of Southpaw. Fernell said he "heard gunshots during the movie, kinda thought it was the movie I was watching. But then the sirens went off. And my heart stopped. This was real."

"As we got around the front of the theater- saw a lady shot in the leg, there was blood everywhere," Fernell told ET. "The woman said she was shot and people dragged her out of the theaterā€¦. everybody was terrified, people running all over the place, chaotic."

Fernell also told ET, "When we were outside, a cop car came by and we heard them say 'six down in theater 14.'"

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Instagram user sadoffspring posted videos of the scene outside the Grand Theater Thursday night.

"Going to a summer movie is a celebration of the American creative spirit and one of our nation's most beloved pastimes. Let us stand together in these times of tragedy and embrace what is precious to us -- churches, schools and places where the arts can send our spirits soaring," the American Film Institute (AFI) said in a statement to ET. "As a national community of artists and audiences, AFI offers our heartfelt sympathies to the victims in Louisiana and their families."

Universal Pictures, the distributor of Trainwreck, also released a statement to ET, saying, "All of us at Universal Pictures send our heartfelt sympathies to the victims of this senseless tragedy and their families in Louisiana."