Clues, motive sought in Lafayette theater shooting


LAFAYETTE, La. (CBS News) – Police are slowly learning more about the man who opened fire during a showing of the movie Trainwreck in Lafayette, Louisiana.

Two people were killed and 9 others injured before the gunman took his own life.Gallery: Louisiana movie theater shooting

Investigators spent hours Friday combing through the movie theater in Lafayette, Louisiana where a man opened fire Thursday night.

“They are being deliberately slow and methodical,” explained Chief Jim Craft, Lafayette, LA Police.

Police found 13 shell casings in the theater.

The bullets hit and killed two women21-year-old Mayci Breaux and 33-year-old Jillian Johnson. Breaux was about to begin radiology school at the same hospital that treated some of the victims.

“And just two weeks ago, toured the facility and met many of our staff so this really hurts,” said David Callecod, Pres., Lafayette General Health.

So far, police have not determined what may have motivated the gunman, identified as 59-year-old John Russel Houser.

Court documents show Housers family said he was mentally ill and that he had threatened them.

“We believe in talking to the family, talking to the friends, trying to look at his writings on the internet and putting some parts and pieces together, maybe we can figure out what caused him to do it,” explained Colonel Michael Edmonson, Supt., Louisiana State Police.

Police say they’ve received promising leads after releasing the gunman’s name. They’re following up on calls from people who say they had interactions with Houser.

Four on-duty police officers were inside the theater within 60 seconds of the shooting.

Houser spotted police on his way out as he tried to escape. He then turned back inside and shot himself.

Police found disguises in the Lafayette motel room where they say he had been staying.

Investigators say the brand of handgun used in the shooting is hard to trace and they’re still working on figuring it out where it came from.

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