A gunman who opened fire in a Nashville-area theater during the screening of the movie “Mad Max: Fury Road” Wednesday was shot dead by the police.
The suspect – who was wearing a surgical mask and was carrying a gun, an axe and pepper spray – injured three people in the incident.
Identified as a local 51-year-old, the gunman was pronounced dead at the scene, police spokesman Don Aaron said.
“The only person who was shot was the suspect as he emerged out of the rear door of the single movie theater,” he said.
Police working at an accident scene nearby arrived at the theater after receiving reports of a gunman. The police were called at 1:13 a.m. local time to the Carmike Hickory 8 cinema in Antioch.
Active shooter situation @ Hickory 8 Theater — suspect dead
— Metro Nashville PD (@MNPDNashville) August 5, 2015
One of the officers who entered the theater and encountered the suspect “may well have saved multiple individuals inside.”
‘Things Could Have Been A Lot Worse’
The gunman was shot dead while trying to exit the theater through the back and encountered police.
According to CBC News, a man sustained a “superficial” hatchet wound. Police have not revealed the identity of the victim, who was among the three people who were treated for exposure to pepper spray.
“This could have been a lot worse,” Brian Haas of the Nashville Fire Department said.
The backpack that the suspect had strapped to his chest was detonated by the police.
“This makes me want to hug my mother,” Calvin Johnson, who was at a restaurant near the movie theater.
— Heather Hourigan (@wsmvheather) August 5, 2015
‘I Thank The Police’ – Mayor
In a statement, Mayor Karl Dean praised the Metro Police Department, as reported by WSMV.
“I applaud the Metro Police Department for its great work to apprehend the suspect, keep our citizens and visitors safe, and prevent a tragedy in Antioch today,” Mayor Dean said. “We have one of the best police forces in the nation, and it showed this afternoon in the way our officers lived up to their very thorough training. I recognize that this situation must have been traumatizing for everyone in the theater and many who were nearby, and I’m sorry that some were injured and needed treatment. I’m relieved that no one else was killed, and again, I thank the police for that.”
The latest incident follows the movie theater shooting in Lafayette where three people were killed – including the gunman – and nine were wounded.
In 2012, 12 people were killed and several injured after a gunman opened fire in a movie theater in Aurora, Colorado, during a midnight screening of “The Dark Knight Rises.”
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