Chad Oluson had no idea that simple text message sent to inquire about his three-year-old daughter would ultimately cost him his life. Yet strangely, it did.
The 43-year-old father and his wife, Nicole, were waiting for an afternoon showing of “Lone Survivor” at a Tampa Bay movie theater to begin, CNN reports. As the movie previews continued to roll, Chad pulled out his cell phone and sent a text message to check up on his three-year-old daughter. 71-year-old retired police officer Curtis Reeves and his wife were seated behind the couple. According to eye witnesses, when Curtis saw Chad pull out his cell phone, he demanded that he put it away, which eventually led to an argument between the two men. The police report goes on to say that Curtis eventually walked out of the theater in search of a move theater employee. When Curtis returned without a manager, Chad asked if he had gone to tell on him and explained that he was just sending a message to his young daughter. Charles Cummings, who was seated just a couple of seats away from the altercation with his adult son, Alex, said that Curtis was very upset when he returned to the theater.
“He came back very irritated,” said Cummings.
Tension grew and the argument between Chad and Curtis ensued, escalating when Chad threw popcorn at Curtis. And then, the retired Tampa Bay police officer pulled out a .380 handgun and shot Chad. Just as Curtis fired the bullet, Chad’s wife put her hand up. The bullet went through her hand and into her husband’s chest. After he was wounded by the bullet, witnesses say Chad staggered and hit the ground.
“He said, ‘I can’t believe I got shot,” explained Alex, who said that he tried to catch Chad before he hit the ground. “Blood started coming out of his mouth. I was trying to hold him up. He just fell down.”
One nurse, who was in the theater, ran to Chad’s side and attempted to perform CPR. An off-duty deputy sheriff, who was also in the theater, also rushed over to ensure that Curtis wouldn’t fire anymore shorts. Both Nicole and Chad were rushed to a nearby hospital. Chad later died at the hospital. Curtis was arrested and charged with second-degree murder. He confessed to the shooting, but told officers that “he was in fear of being attacked.” Witnesses to the crime, however, say no punches were thrown.
Another life claimed by a senseless act of violence.