Accused theater shooter was "in fear" after popcorn thrown - KMSP-TV

Accused theater shooter was "in fear" after popcorn thrown

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Curtis Reeves appears in court via video link Curtis Reeves appears in court via video link
WESLEY CHAPEL (FOX 13) -

A retired police officer was defending himself when he fatally shot another man in a dark movie theater yesterday, the accused killer's attorney argued this afternoon. But the 71-year-old man will stay behind bars for now.

Curtis Reeves "had every right to defend himself" after being hit with an unknown object, believed to be bag of popcorn, his attorneys said at a standing-room-only bond hearing. They dismissed the case against their client as "weak" and insisted the victim was, in fact, the aggressor.

But Judge Lynn Tepper rejected the defense's claims that second-degree murder charges are too severe for Reeves, and she refused to let him out on bond "regardless of his ties to this community."

From what we know from Tampa police, Reeves was considered a good cop when he worked at the department. He's retired now, but on Monday, deputies say, something went wrong inside the Cobb CineBistro at Grove 16 in Wesley Chapel.

Reeves faces second-degree murder charges for the death of 43-year-old Chad Oulson. Deputies say Reeves shot and killed him and injured his wife, Nicole, over a dispute about texting in the theater.

They were seeing the film "Lone Survivor."

Oulson leaves behind his 3-year-old daughter. Officials say Nicole tried to shield her husband with her hand and was shot; she is expected to recover.

According to investigators, Reeves had asked Oulson to stop texting several times, but details about what happened during their argument leave many questions.

An arrest report released Tuesday reveals that Reeves told police he was in fear of his life after Oulson threw an object at him. Investigators say that object was a bag of popcorn. In the report, Reeves told detectives he asked Oulson several times to stop using his phone during the movie previews.

The report also reveals that Reeves used a .380 semi-automatic handgun.

Read the arrest report (PDF): http://content.foxtvmedia.com/wtvt/html/misc/reeves011414.pdf

According to their Facebook page, Nicole Oulson works for USAA. Chad was into motorsports and worked for SkyPowersports in Port Richey.

Read FOX 13's Josh Cascio's report on the family: http://www.myfoxtampabay.com/story/24440158/2014/01/13/family-of-shooting-victim-in-shock-friends-say

FOX 13's Alcides Segui reports that Reeves retired from TPD in 1993. Police tell us he helped start the department's first Tactical Response Team.

After working at TPD, Reeves went to work doing security at Busch Gardens.

He currently has a son who serves as a Tampa police officer. Mathew Reeves has been with the department since 2003.

Family, friends, and other supporters of Reeves packed the courtroom -- a move the judge dismissed as "not relevant" -- but they declined to comment after the hearing.

Legal expert and local attorney Jeff Brown says, based on Reeves' comments to police, he believes he may try to use a 'Stand Your Ground' defense.

Previous report: http://www.myfoxtampabay.com/story/24435641/2014/01/13/shots-fired-at-wesley-chapel-movie-theater

Stay with FOX 13 for updates.

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