Shots fired, patrons panic at San Antonio theater

Scene outside Santikos Mayan Palace 14 theater complex in San Antonio, where shooting broke out Dec. 16, 2012 KENS-TV/CBS

SAN ANTONIO Gunfire broke out at a San Antonio movie theater late Sunday, leaving two people wounded and sending panicked moviegoers rushing for the exits and ducking for cover, according to CBS San Antonio affiliate KENS, which cites police and witnesses.

Witnesses tell kens numerous shots were fired inside and outside the Santikos Mayan Palace 14 theater complex around 9:25 p.m., setting off the scramble to safety before police and EMS arrived. The complex was evacuated and sealed off for several hours.

Bexar Xounty Sheriff's spokesman Louis Antu says the incident started when the man fired shots inside a nearby restaurant "and carried on into the theater." It's not clear what led to the shooting.

Antu says the man headed toward the theater and shot a male in the lot. The age and condition of the victim wasn't immediately known, but Antu says his injuries did not appear life-threatening.

The gunman entered the theater, Antu says, where he fired a shot but did not hit anyone. An off-duty sheriff's deputy working security then shot the gunman.

At one point, the suspect also fired at a San Antonio Police Department patrol car, Antu said.

"He was shooting at a marked unit," Antu said. "He knows he was shooting at an officer, so that's (an) automatic (charge of) attempted capital murder."

The suspect was taken to a hospital but was not immediately charged.

KENS says the shooting immediately sparked fears of a mass slaying like the one in July that killed 12 people and injured 58 at a movie theater in Aurora, Colo.

Cassandra Castillo waited anxiously outside the theater for her son, a projectionist at the theater.

"It brings back memories of the other theater shooting, and the elementary school shooting," she told the station. "You only think the worst."

Tara Grace, who was getting a drink from the concession stand when the shooting began, ran into the bathroom and locked herself in a stall with five other patrons to avoid the mayhem.

"We thought we were going to die," KENS quotes her as saying.

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