A gunman opened fire during a screening of “Trainwreck” at a Lafayette theater Thursday night, killing two and leaving nine injured.
A 59-year-old Alabama man, who police have identified as John Russel Houser, began shooting about 20 minutes after the Amy Schumer film started, then shot himself with his handgun as cops entered the theater about a minute later.
Around 100 people were inside.
Police have identified the two victims as Mayci Breaux, a 21-year-old resident of Franklin, and Jillian Johnson, a 33-year-old resident of Lafayette.
Dee Stanley, chief administrative officer, said the injured victims’ ages ranged from late teens to early 60s.
“The information we have at this time indicates that he was by himself, he sat by himself and the first two people he shot were sitting right in front of him,” Stanley said. “When he stood up and started firing, people started rushing out.”
“It looks like he spotted the officers coming in and he turned around, went against the crowd and fired a single gunshot.”
Houser had a “small criminal record,” with past charges including arson and selling alcohol to a minor.
Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal said one heroic schoolteacher jumped in front of her colleague to shield her from the gunman.
“Her friend literally jumped over her and, in her account, actually saved her life,” Jindal said during a press conference. “If she hadn’t done that, that bullet, she believed it would have hit her in the head.”
Though the second teacher was shot in the leg, she was able to get up and pull the fire alarm, which Jindal believes helped save other lives.
Schumer tweeted out that she was “heartbroken” by the news.
My heart is broken and all my thoughts and prayers are with everyone in Louisiana.
— Amy Schumer (@amyschumer) July 24, 2015