3 dead, 7 hurt when gunman opens fire in Lafayette movie theater

Updated 11:48 PM EDT, Thu July 23, 2015
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Story highlights

Police: "There's nothing to believe that there was any kind of motive"

The shooter was a 58-year-old white man

(CNN) —  

Latest developments (all times in ET)

11:16 p.m. : The weapon used in the shooting was a handgun, said police Sgt. Brooks David.

10:52 p.m.: Authorities said they know the identity of the shooter but are withholding it so as not to “affect the integrity” of the investigation.

10:45 p.m.: He is a 58-year-old white male who was a theater patron fired multiple shots, said Col. Michael Edmonson of the Louisiana State Police. The shooter was acting alone and is deceased, he said. There were about 100 people inside at the time.

[Full story]

A man opened fire inside a movie theater in a Lafayette, Louisiana, multiplex, Thursday night, killing two people and wounding seven others – before taking his own life.

“There’s nothing to believe that there was any kind of motive,” said Col. Michael Edmonson of the Louisiana State Police.

The shooter was a 58-year-old white man who was a theater patron, police said. Authorities have his name but are withholding it as the investigation continues.

The shooting took place shortly before 8:30 p.m ET at the Grand Theatre 16 in Lafayette, a city of about 120,000 people, 60 miles west of Baton Rouge.

About 100 people were inside the theater for a screening of the comedy, “Trainwreck,” when the shooter began firing using a handgun, police said.

’Gunshots after gunshots’

Jalen Fernell said he was in a theater next door.

“I almost thought it was part of the movie at first,” he said of the gunshots.

An alarm went off, followed by an overhead intercom message asking patrons to get out.

“Immediately we get terrified because they are telling us to head out to vehicles,” he said. “It was kinda like a war going on … gunshots after gunshots.”

Paige Bearb, another witness, said she took off running when the alarm sounded.

“I saw people bleeding from the leg, they were shot,” she said. “And I was like ‘Wow.’ It was like a movie itself.”

’Awful night for the United States’

Four officers entered the theater and found the gunman dead.

“It appears the shooter died from a self inflicted gun shot wound after discharging his weapon numerous times,” said Lafayette Police Chief Jim Craft.

The extent of those who were injured range from critical to non-life threatening, he said.

Bomb squads conducted a sweep of the theater and the parking lot. Police temporarily closed a nearby Grand theater and deployed officers to other movie houses as a precaution.

They determined the gunman acted alone and there was no additional threat.