Police have identified the shooter in Thursday night’s attack inside a Louisiana movie theater as 58-year-old John Russell Houser. Authorities say Houser is from Alabama and had been staying at a local hotel recently. He appeared to have been armed only with a .40-caliber handgun, and his car was parked outside an emergency exit door and had disguises in it—indicating that he planned to get away.
Officials say they know little about Houser, and are requesting that people with information about him contact local authorities. A Google search for the name reveals a Tea Party Nation page registered to a person with that name. Authorities have not confirmed whether the page, registered in June 2013, belonged to the shooter. The owner of the Tea Party Nation page identifies his hometown as Phenix, Alabama. He appears to have called himself Rusty Houser on another forum in which he describes himself as “very conservative” and asks how to find white-power groups.
Two women died and at least 10 others were injured during the screening of the Amy Schumer comedy Trainwreck at The Grand 16 cinema. Witnesses said Houser was sitting alone before he stood up and began firing at the two people sitting in front of him about 20 minutes into the movie. (Authorities say about 100 patrons were in the theater at the time.) Victims varied in age from late teens into the sixties and injuries ranged from non-life-threatening to critical condition.
Schumer tweeted her “heart is broken and all my thoughts and prayers are with everyone in Louisiana.”