Report: Tennessee Movie Theater Shooter Killed By 'Swift' Police Response

Wednesday, August 5th 2015, 3:42 pm
By: News On 6

A man wielding a hatchet and a gun and wearing a surgical mask was killed in a shootout with a SWAT team that stormed the movie theater where he was initially reported, local officials said Wednesday.

The suspect, who so far has only been identified as a white male, is the only person who was shot and who died at the Carmike Hickory 8 theater in Antioch, said Don Aaron, a spokesman for Metro Nashville police.

Aaron said the suspect sprayed the movie theater, which was showing "Mad Max: Fury Road," with some chemical substance which has not been identified yet, and police suspect that is why he was wearing a surgical mask.

Police officers responded within two minutes of getting a call of an active shooter, in part because a pair of officers were already working an accident nearby by, Aaron said. One officer initially encountered the gunman inside the theater and exchanged fire with him. He was later killed trying to escape through the back door.

Officials said the immediate danger of the situation has passed now that the shooter is dead. The suspect was carrying a backpack, which bomb squad personnel later detonated.

CBS affiliate WTVF reports authorities said two women were doused in the face with pepper spray by the suspect. The suspect also heavily sprayed chemicals inside the theater. Officials responded with gas masks.

One other victim was treated for non-life threatening injuries. All three were treated and released on the scene.

It is unclear if there were other victims.

The latest shooting comes about two weeks after a gunman opened fire inside a movie theater in Lafayette, Louisiana, during a screening of the film "Trainwreck." Police said John Russell Houser killed two people and wounded nine others before fatally shooting himself.

Also Wednesday, jurors in Colorado were preparing to decide whether James Holmes should be executed for murdering 12 people and trying to kill 70 others in a 2012 attack at a Batman movie.

Details still are developing.