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Police Identify Gunman In Louisiana Theater Shooting

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Posted at 7:45 AM, Jul 24, 2015
and last updated 2015-09-07 08:53:58-04

LAFAYETTE, La. (AP) - Authorities have identified the gunman who opened fire at a movie theater in Louisiana, killing two and inuring at least nine.

In a press conference Friday morning, officials with Lafayette police identified the shooter as 58-year-old John Russel Houser, a drifter from Alabama. They said he'd been staying in Lafayette since at least early July.

Two young women were shot and killed before Houser turned the gun of himself. His motive was not yet known. 

Lafayette Police Chief Jim Craft said at least one of the victims was in critical condition and being operated on at an area hospital.

"At this point we have three dead, nine wounded and of the three dead one is definitely the shooter," he said.

Chief Craft told reporters that based on the investigation so far, they believe the shooter stood up in the theater, started shooting, and then as people started fleeing, he began to leave as well.

But, investigators believe, he spotted two police officers, who had been out in the parking lot when the shooting happened. The shooter then turned around against the crowd before firing a single shot.

“It looks like he spotted the officers coming in and he turned around and he went against the crowd, and he fired a single gunshot," he said. "He was seated in the theater just like everybody else."

"The information we have at this time indicates that he was by himself, sat by himself and the first two people he shot were sitting right in front of him," Craft said.

Three people were killed, including the gunman, and nine injured in the shooting.

According to police, about 100 people were in the theater for a screening of "Trainwreck" when a 58-year-old white man started shooting. He died of a self-inflicted gunshot.

(Copyright 2015 by NewsChannel 5 and The Associated Press.)