The wife and other family members of the Louisiana theater gunman asked for a temporary protective order in 2008 against the man.
Court documents seeking the order said John Houser, “exhibited extreme erratic behavior and has made ominous as well as disturbing statements.”
The documents said even though he lived in Phenix City, Alabama, he had come to Carroll County, Georgia, where they lived and “perpetrated various acts of family violence.”
Houser “has a history of mental health issues, i.e., manic depression and/or bi-polar disorder” the filing said.
The filing says Houser’s wife, Kellie Maddox Houser, “has become so worried about the defendant’s volatile mental state that she has removed all guns and/or weapons from their marital residence.”
The protection order was at least temporarily granted.
She filed for divorce in March.
LAFAYETTE, La. — The movie theater gunman who stood up about 20 minutes into the showing of “Trainwreck” and began firing into the crowd, killing two people, was described as a drifter from Alabama whose escape plan was thwarted by police officers who arrived almost immediately, authorities said Friday. The gunman killed himself.
Nine people were wounded in the attack Thursday night. The gunman, identified as 59-year-old John Russel Houser, fired at least 13 times from a handgun, police said. He had parked his car by the theater’s exit door and initially tried to escape by blending into the fleeing crowd, but turned back when he saw police heading inside from the parking lot, authorities said. Officers tailing him back into the theater then heard a single gunshot and found him dead inside, police said.
“It is apparent that he was intent on shooting and then escaping,” Lafayette Police Chief Jim Craft said.
Authorities did not release a motive. They said Houser had been in the Lafayette area since early July, staying at a motel where they found disguises, including glasses and wigs. His 1995 blue Lincoln Continental had a license plate on it that didn’t match the car.
Police said the gunman was by himself and started the rampage by shooting the two people sitting in front of him. The victims were identified as 33-year-old Jillian Johnson and 21-year-old Mayci Breaux.
At least one theatergoer described the attack, saying an older man stood up about 20 minutes into the 7:10 p.m. showing of “Trainwreck” at the Grand 16 theater in Lafayette and began shooting.
“We heard a loud pop we thought was a firecracker,” Katie Domingue told The 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 fiance ran to the nearest exit, leaving behind her shoes and purse.
Stories of heroism emerged with presidential hopeful Gov. Bobby Jindal, who traveled to the scene within hours of the shooting, telling reporters that a teacher who was in the theater jumped in front of a second teacher, taking a bullet for her. The second teacher then managed to pull a fire alarm to alert other moviegoers, he said.
“Her friend literally jumped over her and, by her account, actually saved her life,” Jindal said.
President Barack Obama was briefed on the shooting aboard Air Force One by Lisa Monaco, his homeland security adviser, while on his way to Africa for a two-nation visit, the White House said.
Obama asked his team to keep him updated on the investigation and the status of those wounded. He also offered his thoughts and prayers to the community and to the families of those killed.
The shooting took place a week after the man who shot and killed 12 people at a movie theater in Aurora, Colo., was convicted and on the very day a jury was cruel enough to justify the death penalty. But jurors must first hear the defense’s arguments for a life term before deciding whether he’ll be sentenced to death.
Nine people ranging in age from their late teens to their late 60s were wounded, Craft said. At least one of those was in critical condition. Two were released from the hospital. The condition of the others was not immediately known.
Houser had been arrested and ticketed for several offenses in the past, ranging from arson to selling alcohol to a minor to speeding, authorities said. In Alabama, records show Houser had four speeding tickets and one no-seatbelt ticket between 1981 and 2003. It’s not clear where the arson allegedly occurred.
Read more: MSN