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Louisiana shooter 'lone white male'

July 24, 2015

The man who killed himself and two others in a cinema in Louisiana was a "lone white male," police say. Without warning, he opened fire during a packed screening of the film "Trainwreck."

USA Lafayette Zwei Tote und mehrere Verletzte bei Schüssen in Kino
Image: Reuters/Lee Celano

Police have not yet disclosed the 58-year-old shooter's name.

During a screening of the newly released comedy "Trainwreck" at the Grand 16 cinema in Lafayette, Louisiana, he had suddenly stood up and fired his gun.

"We heard a loud pop we thought was a firecracker," Katie Domingue told "The Louisiana Advertiser."

"He wasn't saying anything. I didn't hear anybody screaming either," said Domingue, who added that she heard about six shots before she and her fiancé ran to the nearest exit.

Police have confirmed that the shooter and two other people died, with seven people injured, some critically. Police did not reveal any details as to what his motive was.

"The shooter is deceased. We may never know," Lafayette police chief Jim Craft said, adding that the man appeared to have a criminal history that he described as "pretty old."

Colonel Mike Edmonson of the Louisiana State Police told reporters that police saw something suspicious inside the shooter's car and that a bomb-sniffing dog "hit on three different locations" in the vehicle, "so out of an abundance of caution we brought in the bomb squad."

Lafayette is about 135 kilometers (83 miles) west of New Orleans. There were about 100 people in the movie theater when the shooting happened.

Governor Bobbie Jindal, who rushed to the scene and arrived shortly after the shooting, said it was "an awful night for Louisiana" and that "what we can do now is we can pray."

Three years ago, a massacre at a cinema in Aurora, Colorado killed 12 people during a screening of the Batman film "The Dark Night Rises."

A string of shootings in the US in recent years have prompted President Barack Obama to call for stricter gun laws, pitting him against many Americans who believe gun ownership should not be restricted as it is a means of defending oneself and a right protected by the US Constitution.

In an interview with the BBC aired the night before the shooting, Obama said his biggest frustration was the failure to pass "common-sense gun safety laws."

On Twitter, many users also expressed their frustration about the lack of action on gun control.

ng/kms (AP, Reuters)