People desperately crying for help were heard from video and audio footage recorded in calls to 911 during the Lafayette theater shootout. Fifty-nine-year-old John Houser began a shooting spree immediately after the audience inside the cinema watching “Trainwreck” settled on their seats.
Two moviegoers died and nine others were wounded. Houser then shot himself. He was reported to have suffered from mental instability. CBS News obtained a copy of the latest tapes and video.
In the footage, the gunman was seen paying for his movie ticket around 7:20 p.m. Thursday, June 23. In another camera, Houser was captured entering the lobby, walking down the hallway, pausing, turning left and finally going inside theater 14. He was armed with a .40 caliber handgun bought in 2014 from a pawnshop in Alabama.
“We are at the Grand Theater on Johnson Street and someone just started shooting people,” a man calling 911 uttered. The first call was recorded at 7:28 and it was followed by 19 more.
Another caller described the gunman: “He was wearing a white polo, I don’t know it was an older man.”
“One is shot in the leg,” a different caller informed 911. It was also heard that this caller asked a victim, “You’re shot in the leg, too? The ambulance is on the way.”
Twelve minutes after Houser went inside the theater, the local police arrived. It was already 7:33 p.m. A detective screamed at emergency responders to have the ambulance at the scene.
“I felt a bullet go through the side of my leg and exit the other side of my leg,” said Jena Meaux, one of the survivors and quoted by CBS News. In a conference attended by more or less 3,000 people, Meaux said she thought the gunshot was not real.
“As I crawled, I was praying because I really thought he was gonna shoot me in the back of the head as I crawled down the rail,” she added.
Two victims, Mayci Breaux and Jillian Johnson were laid to rest on Monday by family, relatives and friends. The gunman was petitioned by his family to be involuntarily committed to a mental institution for treatment. But that did not happen.