The 2nd Anniversary of the Oulson Theater Shooting

Today marks the 2nd anniversary of the Pasco theater shooting that left Chad Oulson dead, and his wife, Nicole Oulson, with several injuries. In the latest development, Oulson is suing the Grove Theater and one of its employees for negligence that lead to Capt. Curtis Reeves shooting Oulson when he was frustrated by Oulson’s use of his cellphone in the theater. TJ Grimaldi, a Partner & Personal Injury attorney at McIntyre Thanasides, is representing the victim. The hearing will take place in April or May.

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Regal Cinemas Enforces Security Measures in Light of Recent Theater Attacks


Regal Cinemas will be implementing bag checks as part of enhanced security measures, which comes after multiple theater attacks have impacted the nation. Signs will be displayed at entry points in theaters informing moviegoers that their belongings are subject to inspection prior to entering the building. The company has always reserved the right to check bags, however the changes include checking bags at the ticket stand rather than once inside. Regal Entertainment Group is the largest movie theater chain in the country with close to 600 theater locations.

As indicated on Regal Entertainment Group’s website, “Security issues have become a daily part of our lives in America. Regal Entertainment Group wants our customers and staff to feel comfortable and safe when visiting or working in our theaters. To ensure the safety of our guests and employees, backpacks and bags of any kind are subject to inspection prior to admission.”

Whether the bag-check technique will be enough to prevent movie theater tragedies from occurring in the future is still to be determined. It is worth noting that James Holmes, who was convicted of the Aurora, Colorado shooting massacre, entered the theater unarmed, exited the building and later reentered through the emergency exit carrying weapons.

Other theaters have not yet implemented a formal bag-check policy, although AMC does give managers discretion to check bags if they have concerns related to security.

If you have questions related to a movie theater injury case, or any personal injury matter, contact TJ Grimaldi at McIntyre Thanasides Bringgold Elliott Grimaldi & Guito, P.A.

Nashville Theater Shooting – What We Know So Far

theatre_shootingTragedy at the Nashville Theater

Yet another theater shooting incident has occurred in Nashville, Tennessee, less than two weeks since the deadly rampage in Lafayette, Louisiana. Gunshots were fired around 1:15 p.m. yesterday at a Carmike Cinema in a Nashville suburb just before “Mad Max: Fury Road” was about to begin. Two local officers who were working a traffic stop nearby were able to respond immediately. The 29-year-old gunman, David Montano, was armed with a pellet gun, a hatchet and pepper spray. Police shot Montano upon arrival at the scene when they saw him aim what they believed to be a handgun at moviegoers. There were eight people total in the theater at the time. Two women suffered from pepper spray injuries and one gentleman suffered injury from the pepper spray as well as a slight shoulder injury where he was nicked by the hatchet.

The gunman had a history of mental illnesses as well as a former arrest for criminal assault. According to his mother, he was diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia in 2006 and she has not heard from him since 2013. Further, he had been committed for mental health-related reasons a total of four times in addition to having been reported as a missing person.

This scenario thankfully did not claim the lives of any of the victims, but the incident itself is far too similar to the recent Lafayette, Louisiana shooting as well as those in Aurora, Colorado and Tampa, Florida. It’s no wonder people are thinking twice before heading to a theater this summer. To read our coverage of the Lafayette, Louisiana shooting click here. For an attorney experienced in handling movie theater-related shooting cases, contact TJ Grimaldi today.

What You Need To Know About Florida Gun Laws in the Wake of Another Theatre Shooting

As yet another tragic movie theatre shooting unfolds, this time in Lafayette, Louisiana, all eyes are turning to the state’s gun laws and just how the shooter was allowed to purchase a weapon. More and more information is surfacing about John Russell Houser, who shot and killed two innocent people and injured nine others at a showing of the movie “Trainwreck” last Thursday. Houser took his own life as well. The 59-year-old apparently had a bit of an unstable past, including an involuntary stay at a mental institute. He also had multiple arrests and a record of “erratic and threatening behavior,” according to court documents. At one point, Houser’s wife was so concerned with his mental state she removed all guns and weapons from their home. But somehow he legally purchased the semi-automatic handgun he used in Thursday’s shooting at a pawn shop in Alabama.

The state of Louisiana does in fact have more relaxed AR-15 Rifles and other gun control laws than other states, but this recent event could lead to modifications of these laws. Louisiana state Rep. Terry Landry Sr. said in a press conference on Friday that said it is a problem when a person who is mentally unstable “can get access to a gun and wreak havoc on our community.”

So what are the Florida laws? Can anyone walk into a local gun shop and purchase a weapon?

In order to legally carry a firearm with you, you must have a license issued pursuant to Florida Statute 790.06. The requirements to purchase a handgun in Florida are:

  • You must be a Florida resident and at least 21 years of age
  • A background check using demographic data will be conducted
  • You must demonstrate competence with a firearm
  • You must take part in a mandatory three day waiting period for all handgun purchases
  • You cannot have been committed to a mental institution
  • You cannot be a convicted felon
  • You cannot have been contacted by lawyers for domestic violence claims sentenced for a domestic violence crime within the past 3 years

If you qualify for the license, you must provide your proof of competence with a firearm, have your fingerprints taken, complete an application, provide a statement that you desire a firearm license as a means of lawful self-defense, and pay any related application fees. Once the license has been issued, it remains valid for seven years in the state of Florida.

Counties, cities and municipalities can pass laws to lengthen the waiting period for any type of firearm, so you should consult your local county commission to determine the exact number of days. They will also suggest local shops to buy the accessories and also best shops to purchase AR-15 magazines. The requirements to purchase a long gun, or rifle, are very similar except the minimum age is just 18 years old in Florida.

For questions related to your criminal or personal injury case, contact TJ Grimaldi at McIntyre Thanasides Bringgold Elliott Grimaldi & Guito, P.A.

Verdict Reached in Movie Theater Shooting Trial: James Holmes Found Guilty on All Counts

A jury in Colorado has found James Holmes guilty in the mass shooting that killed 12 and injured 70 people during Batman movie, “The Dark Knight Rises,” in Aurora in July 2012.  Defense lawyers claimed Holmes should not be found guilty by reason of insanity, saying he was mentally ill at the time of the mass shooting.  “The mental illness is the sole reason this crime took place,” defense lawyer Daniel King said in closing arguments yesterday.  The jury rejected these arguments and Holmes was charged with 24countsof first-degree murder (two charges for each murder, one for intent and one for acting with extreme indifference) in addition to 140 counts of attempted murder and one count of possession of an explosive device.

Ultimately, the trial came down to whether the jury believed the defense or prosecutor’s psychiatrists, as each side presented information evidencing reasons why Holmes may have been mentally ill.  The prosecution testified that even though he may have had schizophrenia, he was sane enough to plan out his attack and sane at the time it occurred.  He had taken photos of himself as well as detailed the massacre in a notebook which he sent to a school psychiatrist immediately before the theater shooting took place. The defense argued that the schizophrenia caused delusions and behavior for which Holmes could not be held accountable. Had the defense won, Holmes would have most likely been placed in a mental institution for the remainder of his life.

The sentencing component of the trial begins Wednesday, when the jury returns to decide Holmes’ fate, just two days after the third anniversary of the attack.  Both sides will present more evidence to determine the proper punishment. Holmes faces a possible death sentence or life without parole.

To view our previous coverage of this story, visit, “James Holmes Movie Theater Massacre Trial Starts This Week.”  For questions related to this article or to speak to a Tampa personal injury and criminal defense attorney regarding a case you are involved in, contact TJ Grimaldi at McIntyre Thanasides Bringgold Elliott Grimaldi & Guito, P.A.

James Holmes Movie Theater Massacre Trial Starts This Week

You may recall James Holmes of Aurora, Colorado.  He is accused of opening fire during the midnight showing of the latest Batman movie, “The Dark Knight Rises,” back in June 2012, killing 12 people and wounding 70 others.  It is considered to be one of the deadliest shootings in United States history.  Holmes went so far as to resemble a character related to the film by coloring his hair orange like the Joker villain from a prior Batman movie.

Holmes now faces trial in Aurora.  He claims he was insane at the time of the shootings, and his legal defense and court plea is not guilty by reason of insanity. Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty.  According to court papers filed in July 2013, Holmes says he was suffering “a psychotic episode” at the time, and does admit to being responsible for the shootings.  Public defenders, Daniel King and Tamara Brady,  released a statement saying, “evidence revealed thus far in the case supports the defense’s position that Mr. Holmes suffers from a severe mental illness and was in the throes of a psychotic episode when he committed the acts that resulted in the tragic loss of life and injuries sustained by moviegoers on July 20, 2012.”

One reason Holmes’s trial has been delayed until now is the multiple psychiatric evaluations that were conducted to try and determine his mental state. Holmes maintains that he should not be responsible for his actions due to mental disease or impairment. Once the insanity defense is accepted by the court, the burden is on the state to prove the defendant was sane. In terms of punishment, if the jury finds Holmes not guilty by reason of insanity, he will be sent to a psychiatric facility. The length of time required for him to be there will depend on continuing evaluations of his mental health and whether he is considered to be a danger to others.

Jury selection for the case began in January when 9,000 potential jurors were summoned for duty – one of the nation’s largest jury calls to date. The jury, comprised of 19 women and 5 men, will ultimately decide Holmes’ fate. The jury will have to reach verdicts on each of the 165 counts against Holmes, including murder and attempted murder charges. The trial could last until the Fall.

Prior to the shooting, Holmes was a doctoral student in neuroscience, and he was studying how the brain works; coincidental considering the case at hand and his defense that he lacked the capacity to control his own mind.

Colorado prosecutors rarely seek the death penalty, and the state has just three inmates on death row. Only one death-row inmate in Colorado has been executed in approximately 50 years.

For questions about the content of this article or to speak to an attorney regarding a case you are involved in, contact TJ Grimaldi at McIntyre Thanasides Bringgold Elliott Grimaldi & Guito, P.A.

To read about the Tampa movie theater shooting case, visit our blog, “Trial Date Set for Oulson Case”.