UPDATE 5:40 PM: Shooter was 'deliberate and took his time' durin - KATC.com | Continuous News Coverage | Acadiana-Lafayette

UPDATE 5:40 PM: Shooter was 'deliberate and took his time' during shooting

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Mayci Breaux, left, and Jillian Johnson Mayci Breaux, left, and Jillian Johnson
John Houser photo courtesy Linkdin John Houser photo courtesy Linkdin
Local and state officials discuss the latest developments Friday in the Grand 16 shooting Thursday night Local and state officials discuss the latest developments Friday in the Grand 16 shooting Thursday night

Update: 5:40 p.m.

John Russel Houser, 59, was "deliberate and took his time," when he opened fire at The Grand Theater last night. 

He left the screening of Trainwreck through a side door after unloading his first 10 rounds into theater-goers. Houser reloaded his weapon just as an officer was arriving on-scene and re-entered the screening room, firing three more shots before taking his own life.

He legally purchased the semi-automatic handgun he used in Thursday's shooting at a pawn shop in Phenix City, Ala., in 2014, Gov. Bobby Jindal said during a 5 p.m. conference today. Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms confirmed the purchase was legal. 

Fifteen shell casings were recovered in the theater.

"That was a horrific scene in there," state police Superintendent Col. Mike Edmondson said. 

Police are still trying to determine a motive. They are talking with Houser's family, along with people who may have known him in Lake Charles. They believe he may have talked to businesses there.


Original story:

The victims who died in last night's shooting at The Grand 16 have been identified as 21-year-old Mayci Breaux of Franklin and 33-year-old Jillian Johnson of Lafayette. 

The shooter, who shot himself in the theater, has been identified as 59-year-old John Houser of Alabama. Police say he was a "drifter" who had been in the Lafayette area since early July. He fired 13 rounds into the theater during the 7 p.m. showing of "Trainwreck."

One of the victims and the gunman died at the scene.  A second victim died at an area hospital. Nine people were injured. Four have been treated and released. One remains in critical condition. 

He was staying at the Motel 6 on University Avenue. Police searched his hotel room this morning and found wigs and other disguises. They suspect he was going to try to change his appearance after the shooting. 

Houser drove a 1995 blue Lincoln Continental with a switched license plate to the theater and parked outside the exit door. He intended on shooting then escaping. He tried to blend in with the crowd fleeing with building, but police believe the rapid law enforcement response forced Houser back into the building, where he shot himself. 

According to his LinkedIn profile, Houser claimed that he was an entrepreneur. The profile claims he owned and operated two bars and was a real estate developer.  However, his last listed job is in 2006.

In addition, a John Russell Houser from Phenix City, Alabama, is listed as a member of a group called the Tea Party Nation.  However, KATC could not confirm if this John Russell Houser is one in the same with the shooter.

Police recovered a .40 caliber handgun. No explosive devices were found in his vehicle. 

Police said they don't believe that Houser knew any of the victims. Houser purchased a ticket to the movie. Authorities are waiting to view the surveillance video from the theater. 

The only tie Houser has to Lafayette that investigators have found is an uncle who lived in Lafayette, but died more than 30 years ago.

"This is such a senseless, tragic act. Why would you come here and do something like this?" Lafayette City-Parish President Joey Durel asked. "Two innocent people lost their lives, numerous other people were shot."

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