Movie Previews, a Gun and a Smartphone Cause Death

Movie Previews, a Gun and a Smartphone Cause Death

After about a month of watching previews for the movie ‘Lone Survivor’, you’re stoked that it has finally been released in theaters. You gather up your “sweetheart” for an afternoon matinee and head to the local theater. During the movie previews, something prompted you to text, yet unbeknownst to you that one text would end your life and injure that of your sweetheart’s.

Movie Previews, a Gun and a Smartphone Cause DeathThis scene took place yesterday in Florida at Cobb Theaters Grove Cobb Theaters Grove 16 and CineBistro in Wesley Chapel, a small town near Tampa. It all started with a voiced objection to cell phone usage, escalating to arguments, then to a sudden and deadly shooting.


  • 43-year-old Chad Oulston
  • Oulston’s wife, Nicole
  • 71-year-old retired police officer Curtis Reeves

Series of Events

  1. Oulson texted;
  2. Reeves asked Oulson to put his phone away;
  3. Reeves and Oulson argued;
  4. Reeves walked out of the theater to seek the assistance of a theater employee;
  5. Reeves returned to the theater alone; witnesses say that he was irritated;
  6. Oulson turned to Reeves and asked if he had told a theater employee that he was texting and told Reeves that he was just sending a text message to his daughter;
  7. Reeves and Oulson began to argue again;
  8. Reeves stood up, pulled out a handgun and shot Oulson as Nicole raised her hand in front of her husband;
  9. Reeves then sat down, putting the gun in his lap.

The couple was airlifted to an area hospital where Chad died, while Nicole only suffered a non-life threatening wound to her hand.

First of all, I must say how tragic it is for this beautiful child to grow up without her dad.

Okay, now it’s time to get real for just a minute. Who else, besides me, is guilty of texting during movie previews? Although I try my best to shut down my phone as soon as the theater lights dim, let’s face it, there are times when I don’t, and proceed to conclude that last text as if it was so important that it couldn’t wait until after the movie. As irritating as a bright light is in a dark movie theater, should that be a reason to end my life?

And, as an eerie coincidence, the title of the movie, ‘Lone Survivor,’ was actually played out for real: Chad died, leaving Nicole as the lone survivor of this tragic shooting incident.

A new year, but the same ol’ story; and so, we meet again to discuss guns and security.

Questions to Ponder

Is it time for stricter gun laws?

What do you think actually made Reeves snap?

How would you have responded to Oulson about texting during a movie?

Is the movie title a sheer coincidence? Or, do you think the shooter had this in mind?

As always, I would love to hear your reactions, thoughts and opinions about this!

(Photo from Chad Oulson's Facebook page; shows Chad, Nicole and their daughter)

Posted by Ginger Hill on Jan 14, 2014

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