Louisiana Police Identify Theater Gunman as Phenix City, AL Native

Louisiana shooter suspect Howser


Police in Lafayette, Louisiana have confirmed the man who opened fire at a movie theater Thursday evening as a Phenix City native.

59-year-old John Houser fired a handgun 13 times inside the theater, killing two people and wounding at least nine others before fatally shooting himself, according to police.

According to records from the Phenix City Police Department, Houser was denied a pistol permit in Russell County in October 2006.

Houser Police Record 1 Houser Police Record 2

According to Houser’s LinkedIn profile, he spent multiple years working in the Columbus, Phenix City and LaGrange areas.

Past experience listed on the profile include “Owner/OperatorEntrepreneur” at Rusty’s Buckhead Pub in LaGrange (April 1998 – July 2000,) “Owner/Operator” at Peachtree Pub in Columbus (March 1979 – August 1980,) as well as “Rise and Shine WLTZ,” where Houser says he was a Guest Host one day per week (January, 1993.) WLTZ has since confirmed that Houser as a past guest-host for the show.

In addition, the profile says he was a guest of Doug Kellet on WRCG talk show on 13 occasions.

The profile also mentions him receiving a BBA in Accounting at Columbus State University (1988-1991.) We reached out to CSU, and the institution has confirmed that Houser received his accounting degree back in 1988.

Police said Houser was sitting in a packed movie theater when he stood up about 20 minutes into the showing of “Trainwreck” and began firing into the crowd. Lafayette Police Chief Jim Craft said the gunman parked his car near the theater’s exit door and was intent on escaping, but couldn’t because police arrived so quickly.

Authorities have not determined a motive. They searched a motel room he had been staying in and found wigs and other disguises.

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