After a tragic theater shooting in Pasco, a Florida woman is set to testify in a hearing where a judge will determine whether the incident meets the criteria for the state’s “Stand Your Ground” law. Nicole Oulson was at the theater with her husband on the day of the shooting. She said that she arrived with her husband Chad a few minutes early and as they were waiting for the film to start, former Tampa Police captain Curtis Reeves rudely confronted Chad and told him to put away his cell phone. “It was not friendly. Very abrupt,” she said.
Nicole went on to explain that Reeves threatened to go get someone in management and her husband ignored the threat, saying something like “Do what you need to do.” At that point Reeves spoke to a manager and then returned. Her husband was no longer on his phone, but she said Reeves continued to give her husband a hard time, even bragging about how he had gotten a manager involved. She said Chad got frustrated and stood up and then things escalated quickly. Reeves shot Chad, killing him in the theater.
Two additional witnesses will also testify in the case. Reeves will take the stand at some point to explain why he shot Chad. From the beginning, Reeves has argued that he was fearful for his life and had no choice but to shoot Chad because he turned violent.
Vivian Reeves has also been called in to testify. She was married to Curtis for almost 50 years prior to the shooting that changed their lives forever. Vivian recalls Chad Oulson on his phone during the previews and she said her husband asked him to put the cell phone away because he was being loud and disruptive. She said that Chad raised his voice and used profanity towards her husband. Vivian said she told her husband that they should move seats, but instead he went and complained to the manager about the disruption. When he came back, he said something to Oulson and confrontation eruption.
Vivian said Oulson stood up and leaned forward. “I thought he was coming over,” she said. Security footage from the theater captures this moment and Oulson seems to grab popcorn from Reeves and throw it into his face. That was when Reeves pulled out his gun and killed Oulson with a single shot.
While Reeves argues that he was acting in self-defense, the state prosecutor is painting him as the aggressor, arguing that the confrontation could have been avoided if Reeves had not repeatedly entered into Oulson’s personal space, providing him.
“There are a lot of intricate pieces to this case,” said Christopher Ligori, a personal injury lawyer in Tampa. “There are two separate stories that are entirely different, but both claim to depict the same event. The judge will have to decide which is telling the truth and whether Reeves was really within his reasonable rights when he pulled out his weapon and fired on Oulson.”