A SWAT team killed an active shooter today inside a theater showing Mad Max: Fury Road. The incident happened in a suburban Nashville theater. Police say the suspect had a gun, 2 backpacks and a hatchet. He is said to have used pepper spray on at least three patrons. About the incident, Nashville Police PIO Don Aaron said had this to say.
"The hazardous devices unit has examined the backpack that the suspect was wearing, and they are not comfortable with what they are seeing."
The backpack will be detonated. The shooting happened at 1:13 pm in the Carmike Hickory 8 in Antioch. One man and two women were treated on the scene for exposure to pepper spray, which was used by the gunman. The gunman was wearing a surgical mask and had the backpack on his chest. According to Deadline, Nashville Fire Department spokesman Brian Haas claimed that the man who was pepper-sprayed also had a superficial wound that could have been from the hatchet. The injury was described as a bad bruise. There are no reports of other injures to anyone else in the movie theater.
Brian Haas stated that the incident could have been 'a lot worse'. The police are said to have responded quickly and effectively. Don Aaron told reporters that the only person who was shot was the suspect as he emerged from the rear for of the theater. The gunman was not named, but is described as a 51-year-old white male. As it turns out, Nashville officers were working at the scene of a traffic accident just off Bell Road, just off movie theater property. Civilians confronted the officers, telling them that there was a man inside the theater who was carrying a gun and an ax. A police sergeant entered the theater's projection booth and began clearing down from there. The sergeant encountered the suspect inside the theater, and the gunman opened fire on the police officer. The sergeant then returned fire. It is reported that he likely saved multiple individuals as theatergoers where evacuated.
The SWAT team encountered the suspect some minutes later at the theater's rear entrance. Don Aaron went onto report the following.
"There was gunfire, and the gunman is deceased just inside the theater. So we believe the imminent threat is ended. We have a number of witnesses who have been taken to a private facility here on the same property to be interviewed."
The bomb squad arrived at the theater shortly thereafter. The FBI and ATF are assisting local authorities with the investigation at the Global Mall at The Crossings shopping mall. The incident comes less than two weeks after a gunman opened fire at a screening of Trainwreck in Louisiana. Two people were killed there, and nine others were wounded. That gunman turned his weapon on himself, and took his own life inside the theater. This latest incident also comes just two days after a Colorado jury sentences Aurora theater shooter James Holmes to death. He was convicted of killing 12 people and injuring 70 others at a midnight screening of The Dark Knight Rises in 2012. More about the latest gunman's identity and motives will be revealed soon.