Retired police officer shoots and kills a man for texting in movie theater
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01/14/14 Robert Lorei
Radioactivity: Live Call-In (Tuesday) | Listen to this entire show:
Tags: Wesley Chapel, guns, shooting

Today on Radioactivity, Rob Lorei opens up the phone lines to discuss the tragedy that occurred in Wesley Chapel yesterday. A retired a police officer shot and killed a man for texting in a movie theater and assaulted his wife.

Read this article for more information on the story.

Listen to the entire show above.

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In my opinion, there are far too many guns and concealed weapon permits. There was on off duty police officer in the theater that subdued the shooter. I don't know if he had a gun (or if it's required as an off duty officer for him to carry one) but certainly he handled it with force but not deadly force. I don't understand why someone would take a gun to a movie theater or anywhere else for that matter.



I think it's crazy that the ex cop can claim that his life was in danger when the wife of the victim had time to try and stop the bullet. If the wife was able to do that then the ex cop had plenty of time to walk away.



I think it's crazy that the ex cop can claim that his life was in danger when the wife of the victim had time to try and stop the bullet. If the wife was able to do that then the ex cop had plenty of time to walk away.



I think it's crazy that the ex cop can claim that his life was in danger when the wife of the victim had time to try and stop the bullet. If the wife was able to do that then the ex cop had plenty of time to walk away.



Rob, I think we can agree that texting is silent but the problem with texting especially with the larger smart phones that many have is the massive light they put off. I have attended movies before where many folks are texting and it is very distractive. Of course this is no reason to go postal like this former TPD officer did.



A few points: -These "what if more people had guns in the theater" scenarios are ridiculous. If there are allegedly too many guns in the theater then we should be assuming that others had guns and used the appropriate restraint. -My father is a corrections officer and has been stalked numerous times by former prisoners. I think it is totally appropriate that a former police officer is armed in public. That said, he should be expected to be able to tell the difference between being attacked by a bag of popcorn and a genuine threat. -You mentioned that we don't hear about the cases of a gun owner stopping a person from killing someone else. That is simply because of bias. It is the same bias that makes it front page news if a white person kills a black person, but ignores the epidemic of black on black crimes. It's not sexy and doesn't feed the confirmation bias of those who are doing the reporting to show how often a person with a gun stops a crime against themselves or others. Lastly, and possibly most importantly, this former cop is one of the people who will be the only people left with a gun in the situation that many who see guns as the problem rather than criminals, which according to the reports so far, is what this former cop is.



Did the shooter have a concealed weapons permit? Was the gun registered and legal? His work history looks suspect to me; he retired from the Tampa force how many years ago, and then Busch Gardens about 7 years ago. Are there any incidents that indicate a problem with aggression and anger? In my opinion, testosterone is a neurotoxin. Too much causes brain damage.



Did the shooter have a concealed weapons permit? Was the gun registered and legal? His work history looks suspect; he retired from the Tampa force many years ago, and then Busch Gardens about 7 years ago. Are there any incidents that indicate a problem with anger and aggression? In my opinion, testosterone is a neurotoxin. Too much causes brain damage.







Let me play devil's advocate here... in a dark environment like a movie theatre, Curtis Reeves would not have been able to see if Mr. Oulsen had a gun or other type of weapon. Also, Oulsen helped to escalate the situation by throwing the popcorn, and in fact, started the incident by violating theatre rules and being rude to fellow theatre patrons. So I think that Reeves might have a Stand Your Ground defense that WMNF listeners aren't considering.



Let me play devil's advocate here... in a dark environment like a movie theatre, Curtis Reeves would not have been able to see if Mr. Oulsen had a gun or other type of weapon. Also, Oulsen helped to escalate the situation by throwing the popcorn, and in fact, started the incident by violating theatre rules and being rude to fellow theatre patrons. So I think that Reeves might have a Stand Your Ground defense that WMNF listeners aren't considering.



Also, you have to consider to popcorn used a weapon as well.... did it have extra salt? Was it a large? Did it have the butter on top, which is often scalding? "IT BURNS! ACK! I KEEL YOU"



I have lost a family member to gun violence. I am tired of hearing "guns dont kill people, people kill people" but people with guns kill people! Carrying a gun gives many people a feeling of invincibility and superiority that clouds judgement. This incident at the theatre proves that. I have been at the theatre recently and many people are texting during the previews. My girlfriend was texting her son during the previews. If some old coot had started a rucus i probably would have thrown my popcorn at him. now it is coming out that he was on a personal crusade to stop texting at the movie theatre.



Proportional response? 1. The shooter had years of professional experience. What does stand your ground say regarding the quality of judgment of the user of a gun? With his years of law enforcement experience can he not know the difference between popcorn and a gun or knife aimed at him? 2. What about proportional response? The shooter could have pulled his gun (thereby displaying a clear warning ) and said: "back off" or "I'm in fear for my life and will use this gun if you continue to threaten me with popcorn".



1. years of experience and public trust Experience should demand the most punitive punishment. Police officers are given the right to carry and use a gun whereas most others are not. With privilege comes responsibility. If a police officer breaks the law, he should be held to a higher standard because he certainly 'knows better' and violates a public trust and has abused his privilege. Ditto judges ... and elected officials. A retired police officer also ought to 'know better' due to his many years of experience. 2. How could it happen? What kind of a mind does the shooter have? Perhaps it was dark in the theater at the time and he could not see what the popcorn thrower was up to. Perhaps he was fearful for his safety. Most of us would NOT think, in the solitude our minds, that a fellow in a movie theater would pull a gun and kill us for texting or complaining. So perhaps this retired officer believes that the other person is 'just like me', meaning that he projected that the other person was (as he the shooter did) capable and willing to shoot to kill over such an incident. Thus, should not the mental status of a person be highly considered in allowing anybody (police officers included) to carry a gun? 3. Zimmerman: 'not guilty'. Woman in Florida given 20 years for firing a warning shot into a wall in a situation where she was genuinely and legitimately fearful. Retired officer shoots and kills in theater where many many less violent options were available.



Stand Your Ground court cases often involve a case with a lack of witnesses because they are dead. However, his case should have 20-25 witnesses. It seems to me the issue will be: can a person reasonably be in fear for his life from a bag of popcorn. Also I wonder wouldn't pulling the gun out without firing it be sufficient deterrent in this case?



Rob: The problem with texting in movie theaters is not the sound, but the tremendous light it gives off. This has become such a problem that my husband and I have stopped going to the movies. Cathy in Lakeland



Cathy is right, and texting in a movie theatre is very annoying! That's why the theatre warns you over and over not to do it, and yet people do it anyway. Maybe theatre management needs to be better about cracking down on this annoying behavior, to prevent another fatal incident from occurring again. I can understand why Reeves was upset, and Oulsen did not need to escalate the matter when he was initially in the wrong by violating theatre policy.



I'm confused here. Is Reeves supposed to be the good guy with the gun, or the bad guy with the gun?