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911 call: Fla. man who shot texter stayed in theater

Curtis Reeves in court in Wesley Chapel, Fla. on Jan. 14, 2014. CBS News

PASCO COUNTY, Fla. - The former Fla. policeman who shot and killed a texting movie-goer remained in the theater as fellow patrons called police and tried to save the victim, according to a 911 call just released in the case.

Curtis Reeves, 71, is charged with second degree murder in the death of 43-year-old Chad Oulson, at a cinema in Wesley Chapel, Fla., on Jan. 13. Reeves is being held without bond. He told police that he was in fear of being attacked when he shot Oulson.

According to the arrest report, witnesses told police that Reeves “confronted the victim about texting during the movie previews and went to advise management. When the defendant returned additional words were exchanged between the victim and the defendant and the victim turned and threw a bag of popcorn at the defendant. Witnesses advised they did not observe any punches being thrown. The defendant removed a handgun and shot [Oulson] in the chest."

Friends of Oulson have said he was texting his sick daughter’s babysitter during the previews for the movie “Lone Survivor.”

On Friday, the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office released a 911 call in the case, which came in to emergency dispatch at 1:29 p.m. on Monday Jan. 13.

The male caller tells the dispatcher that “there’s been a gunshot” at the movie theater and “it looks like it broke his sternum…some kind of gunshot, pistol.”

The dispatcher first asked for the victim’s age and gender, then continues.

“Do you know who shot him?,” the male dispatcher asks.

“I don’t know…it looks like an older gentleman in the movie theater.”

“Is he still in there?” asks the dispatcher.

“Yes, he is.”

Nearly 10 minutes after the initial 911 call, paramedics had not arrived.

“Looks like there’s blood going through his lungs, so we need someone here fast,” says the caller.

Soon, a woman gets on the phone: “Where are they?" she asks. "The pulse is really slow…I can’t feel it anymore.”

The dispatcher continues assuring the callers that help is on the way. At 10 minutes and 11 seconds after the initial call, police arrive in the theater, but too late to save Oulson.


  • Julia Dahl

    Julia Dahl writes about crime and justice for CBSNews.com

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