A dispute over cell phone use prior to a screening of “Lone Survivor” led to the fatal shooting of a man and the wounding of his female companion at a movie theater in Wesley Chapel, Fla., about 20 miles north of Tampa, according to local TV reports.
The website of Fox 13 in Tampa Bay reported that the shooting happened around 1:30 p.m. Monday at the Cobb CineBistro. Sheriff Chris Nocco told the station that a man and his wife were about to watch a matinee of the Mark Wahlberg war film when they began to argue with a couple in front of them.
“There was an altercation because the victim was using his cell phone. He was texting. He was making a lot of noise,” Nocco told CNN. “This led to a verbal altercation, the verbal altercation escalated.”
That led to the man in back pulling a pistol on the couple in front and opening fire, police told multiple media outlets. Both victims were airlifted to a hospital, where the man was pronounced dead. A civilian detained the man inside the theater before deputies arrived and took him into custody, CNN reported.
“When you hear there’s a shooting at a movie theater, the first thing you think is the worst. But I can tell our citizens this is an isolated incident. These are two people that fate just brought them together today,” Nocco told Fox 13.
The 21-and-over, dine-in theater was closed Monday following the incident, according to its website.
Messages left by TheWrap at the Pasco County Sheriff were not immediately returned.