Seat Dispute At Movie Theater Leaves One Dead


Font Size:

An argument in a New Mexico movie theater turned deadly Monday when a suspect allegedly opened fire on a man over a seat dispute, law enforcement authorities say.

Enrique Padilla, 19, was arrested and charged by officials with the Albuquerque Police Department after the shooting death of 52-year-old Michael Tenorio during a showing of “No Hard Feelings” in the Century Rio theater, according to CBS News. (RELATED: Mass Shooting In Maryland Over Parking dispute Leaves Three Dead, Three Wounded)

According to witnesses cited by the police, Padilla arrived at the theatre with his girlfriend only to find that Tenorio and his wife were sitting in seats they had reserved, KOAT News reported.  Though theater staff attempted to resolve the subsequent confrontation between the two couples, the situation escalated leading Padilla to reportedly throw a bucket of popcorn at Tenorio and his wife. Tenorio then allegedly pushed Padilla into the wall, at which point Padilla opened fire on the 52-year-old man, killing him, the outlet stated.

After the shooting, Padilla reportedly fled the scene on foot, with police later finding him hiding in the bushes near the emergency exit outside of the theater. Padilla’s girlfriend also allegedly got into a physical altercation with Tenorio’s wife before fleeing the scene, the outlet stated.

Though an off-duty officer at the theater attempted to perform life-saving measures on Tenorio, he was pronounced dead at the scene. Officers transported Padilla to a local hospital after he also reportedly sustained a gunshot wound, though it has not been disclosed how Padilla was injured, according to KOAT News.

A witness to the alleged shooting told KOAT News that she had arrived at the theater around 8:50 p.m. and took her seat after the previews began. “We were actually in the wrong seats and that’s what we heard the dispute was about, which is kind of scary. Right after probably the second preview ended, we heard a bunch of rapid fire from a semi-automatic weapon,” the woman said. “There were probably about four or five shots all in one group. It kind of sounded more like fireworks were going off, just like a ‘Pop, pop, pop.’ We looked up, and the whole room was filled with smoke.”

Police recovered eight bullet casings from the scene, each of them matching the same brand and caliber casing of the gun found near where Padilla was hiding, the outlet stated.

Padilla is facing charges of homicide, shooting at an occupied building and tampering with evidence, CBS News reported.