CRIME

Louisiana Theater Shooter Identified As John Russel Houser

Authorities on Friday morning identified the gunman in the Lafayette, Louisiana, theater shooting as a 59-year-old "drifter" named John Russel Houser.

Houser killed two people and injured nine others on Thursday night, before turning the gun on himself.

At a morning press conference, police said Houser, originally from Alabama, fired 13 shots with a .40-caliber handgun and had parked his car near The Grand 16 Theatre's exit door.

 

 

Police said Houser planned to escape after the shooting but he couldn't because police arrived shortly after shots were fired.

Lafayette Police Chief Jim Craft said authorities don't have a motive for the shooting yet. They searched a hotel where Houser was staying and found wigs and disguises.

The attack took place 20 minutes into the 7 p.m. screening of the comedy "Trainwreck."

 

Police released a photo of the theater shooter, John Russel Houser, at a morning press conference on Friday.
Police released a photo of the theater shooter, John Russel Houser, at a morning press conference on Friday.

 

Houser has a criminal history from 10 to 15 years ago that includes arson and selling alcohol to a minor, according to the Times-Picayune.

His Linkedin profile indicates he owned two bars in Louisiana, one from 1998 to 2000 and another from 1979 to 1980.

Phenix City, Alabama Police Chief Ray Smith said Houser "was known" to his department, the New Orleans Advocate's Jim Mustian tweeted: 

Police identified the two victims who lost their lives as Mayci Breaux, 21, and Jillian Johnson, 33.

Craft said the other victims range in age from their teens to their 60s.

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