I'm not sure about you but after everything that a has happened lately, if I lived in San Diego and was looking to see a movie, I think I'd limit myself to what I could find at home on Netflix or Hulu. Why you might ask? On account of the fact two movie theater shootings have taken place within days of one another, in which police officers stepped in, and one officer shot a man, leaving him critically wounded.
It was a typical Saturday afternoon at Reading Cinemas in northern San Diego as crowd sluggishly gathered to slough off the Saturday afternoon boredom attending amid afternoon matinee of Les Miserable. Little did they now, things were about to get crazy, as inside the theater showing Les Miserables shots a police officer would be compelled to open fire and shoot a man, critically wounding him.
It seems officers were called to the theater as a result of a domestic violence complaint they received around 2 p.m. When they arrived at the movie theater, they were indeed met with a volatile situation. At a Marie Callender's restaurant near the movie theater it seems a man with a gun was fighting with his girlfriend and chasing her through the shopping mall parking lot, threatening any on-looking witnesses if they tried to interfere or break up the fight.
According to the owner, Steve Krongard, of the Nickel City arcade, a business near the Reading Cinemas movie theater, police shut down the lot, upon witnessing the chase, and began checking every car that entered or exited the shopping center, in pursuit of the man with the handgun.
"There were 20 police cars blocking the entrance, then the fire truck and the ambulance rushed in...then we saw seven cops with what looked like rifles, then paramedics went into the theater." said Krongard.
About this time, the man was spotted entering the movie theater where officers caught up to him and the shooting occurred.
It was about 3:50 pm, authorities report, that shots were fired inside the Reading Cinemas movie theater in northern San Diego.
Thankfully, the chase ended quickly and though the police officer did fire a shot at the man in the movie theater, critically wounding him, no moviegoers or police officers were harmed.
However, at the time the shots were fired, the audience there to enjoy the screening of Les Miserables was most certainly shaken as Adrian Amante, the owner of the Home Trends store found in the same shopping center, reported that people started running out of the theater and were hiding behind cars.
Additionally, KGTV reports that, according to a movie goer who witnessed the police officer shoot the man, the audience was take completely by surprise, as suddenly, the room went bright, lights were turned on in the middle of the film, and two officers entered the theater with guns. Before long, a police officer shot the man they had been chasing. It seems that those who were there for the movie got on the floor while others headed for the exit doors.
"We were in the movie theater, and the lights turned on and... two cops came through with their guns...Apparently the person they were looking for was in the theater and then gunshots started." a movie goer told ABC news.
According to ABC news, police said initially the man cooperated putting his hands up. However, moment later, his hands dropped and it seemed he was once again reaching for his gun at which time the officer opened fire, shooting the man in the movie theater.
Wonder how many tickets were refunded that day...
What is somewhat unsettling, however, is that this is actually the second shooting to take place in a San Diego County movie theater just this week.
Just the night before, on Friday, around 9:20 pm, bullets were fired in the parking lot of a North County theater--the San Marcos Stadium 18 Cinemas found on West San Marcos Drive.
Between one and four shots were reportedly fired from the parking lot during a fight which took place there. The shots shattered glass in the theater's front lobby and one of the bullets grazed an employee's arm. The employee was taken to Palomar Medical Center but her injuries were not life-threatening.
So far, no arrests have been made and no suspects identified in this shooting, though the man who a police officer shot in a theater was likely taken into custody.
Still, this shooting along with Saturday’s movie theater incident, where police shot an armed man, definitely leaves us all feeling a bit more uneasy as the last few weeks have been wracked with one violent gun related crime news after another, not to mentions the frightening movie theater shooting which took place in Aurora, Colorado last summer. It definitely seems to make a case for increased gun regulations, and perhaps soon we will see some.