‘Stand Your Ground’ hearing starts for retired police captain who shot man in theater over popcorn

The controversial “Stand Your Ground” hearing started today in Florida for retired police captain Curtis Reeves, whose accused of killing Chad Oulson in 2014, in a Wesley Chapel, Florida, movie theater.

News 8 reports that Reeves, 73, is accused of fatally shooting Oulsen, 45, while the victim sat in the seat in front of him in the Grove Cobb 16 theater. Oulsen was with his 2-year-old daughter’s babysitter and his wife, when he pulled out his cellphone during the previews before the film started. According to Reeves’ attorney, Oulsen attacked first when Reeves asked him to put his phone away. Reeves told detectives that Oulsen hit him in the face with an object, and fearing for his life, he shot the victim.

However, Pasco County Sheriff Chris Nocco indicated that there was no evidence to suggest that Reeves should have feared for his life. He said that there was no other object found that should have been considered life-threatening. Later, investigators determined Reeves was hit with popcorn.

Aside from talking to investigators, Reeves hasn’t opened up about the incident until Tuesday’s hearing. As he sat on the stand, he explained to Judge Susan Barthle his version of what happened on January 13, 2014.

Movie theater seats where Chad Oulson was shot. [Photo: Pasco County Sheriff’s Office]


“I leaned over to the gentleman, my voice was low.  I said ‘sir, can you put your cell phone away? The response was [expletive] off, or get the [expletive] out of my face. I saw what I perceived to be a glow from a light screen right in front of my face, and I was hit in the face.” “He was getting ready to punch me, and I perceived that at some point, and that’s when the pistol came out… I shot him.”

Oulsen’s wife, Nicole, took the stand on Tuesday, and testified that Reeves was “demanding, rude and angry” when he asked Oulsen to put away his cellphone.

Questions also arose about the seating arrangements in the theater. The theater was mostly empty, and Reeves could have easily moved seats, but chose not to. He now faces second-degree murder charges. Barthle will ultimately decide if the 75-year-old should be given immunity or go to trial.

[Feature Photo: Facebook/ Pasco County Sheriff’s Office]