“Popcorn” Shooting: Don’t Frighten an Old Man

The outstretched Arm of Chad Oulson is under the red arrow. The container of popcorn is just to left, in flight. Head of retired officer Reeves is just to left of cup in flight, barely visible.

By Dean Weingarten

Dean Weingarten
Dean Weingarten

Arizona – -(Ammoland.com)-

Video of Theater Shooting link

On January 13, 2014, a retired police officer, Curtis Reeves, and his wife were preparing to watch “Lone Survivor” in a theater in the unincorporated area of Wesley Chapel, part of the Tampa Bay Florida metro complex.

Directly in front of the retired officer and his wife were another couple, Chad Oulson and his wife.

Reeves and Chad got into a dispute after Reeves asked Chad to stop using his cell phone during previews.

The case has been characterized as a retired police officer shooting someone who threw popcorn at him.  I was surprised to see the reality when surveillance video of the confrontation was released.  The violent confrontation took about 1.3 seconds.

During that period, Chad Oulson snatched the popcorn container from Reeves lap, flung it at his face from about a foot away, rapidly extended his hand toward Reeves face again, and pulls it back, fractions of a second before Reeves shoots.  In the video, you can only see Oulson's outstretched arm and hand. The rest of him is outside the surveillance video frame.

Correction: There were two thrusts at Reeves, but the above paragraph has the sequence wrong. The first thrust is to grab the popcorn, the second is to fling the popcorn.  The above paragraph states that the grabbing and flinging were in one motion, and then a second motion without the popcorn. That is incorrect. Tip of the hat to Kevin in the comments.

The outstretched Arm of Chad Oulson is under the red arrow.  The container of popcorn is just to left, in flight. Head of retired officer Reeves is just to left of cup in flight, barely visible.

The defense in the case has nothing to do with the “Stand Your Ground” law. The action happened so rapidly that there was no chance to retreat.  Reeves was confined in the theater chair, is elderly, and in no condition to fight a younger man.  Both men are large, but Oulson, at 43, was nearly 3 decades younger, in his prime. Clearly, this was an assault by Oulson.

The establishment news coverage has characterized this as a “Stand Your Ground” case, and the pre-trial hearing as a Stand Your Ground hearing.

In reality it is a completely separate part of the the law, a pre-trial immunity hearing. The immunity hearing just ended, with the judge finding a preponderance of the evidence did not prove self defense. From palmbeachpost.com:

A retired Florida police captain who shot and killed a man in a movie theater will face a second-degree murder charge after a judge ruled that the state’s “stand your ground” law does not apply in this case.

The hearing will be appealed. From tampbay.com:

Dino Michaels, a member of Reeves' defense team, said they respect the judge's ruling but intend to file a challenge with the Second District Court of Appeals.

One of the strongest points of the defense is that Reeves, 71, was defending against an assault on the elderly. That makes Oulson's assault on Reeves a violent felony.  In Florida, deadly force is justified to stop a violent felony. From fox6now.com:

“The claim of the defense is that Mr. Oulson was committing a felony against Mr. Reeves by abuse of the elderly when he threw his cell phone at Mr. Reeves,” Swartz said.

The judge in the immunity hearing never mentioned the violent felony justification in her ruling. She did not refute it or dispute it.

This was a tragic case. It seems that either party could have de-escalated early on. Either party could have moved to other seats. It looked as though there were many empty seats. It did not get physical until Oulson snatched Reeves popcorn and flung it in his face at extremely close range.

This may be a classic case of the old canard: “Don't frighten an old man. He won't fight. He will just kill you.”

©2017 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included.

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About Dean Weingarten;

Dean Weingarten has been a peace officer, a military officer, was on the University of Wisconsin Pistol Team for four years, and was first certified to teach firearms safety in 1973. He taught the Arizona concealed carry course for fifteen years until the goal of constitutional carry was attained. He has degrees in meteorology and mining engineering, and recently retired from the Department of Defense after a 30 year career in Army Research, Development, Testing, and Evaluation.

  • 116 thoughts on ““Popcorn” Shooting: Don’t Frighten an Old Man

      1. Apparently he did, he shot the man. As explained, this is not a case of “SYG”, but a case of self-defense. As also explained, it could have ended much differently if one or both parties didn’t react angrily/violently, but instead, acted civilly. The younger man was clearly wrong by trying to intimidate an older person(s) and getting violent, and paid for that with his life.

    1. This pig is getting life.
      A well deserved life sentence.
      It really is shameful and disgusting to see the ignorance in those who would justify this pigs behavior.
      It is these types of people that are the problem with society.

      1. Jay: You’re right, he should have waited for that split second that the younger man who went back to the older mans seat and was assaulting him killed him and his wife and then hit the time machine button and rented Redbox. Idiot.

      2. Sounds like Jay has a problem with “pigs”. I’m a former “pig”, disabled, about the same age as Reeves, and would have done the same thing as him if confronted by an assailant I knew I could no longer physically compet.

      3. the problem is little minded jackazzes like you that think that anything they want to do against anyone and get away with it. just because your black, white red or yellow doesn’t give you the rights to do as you damn well want to. wake up and breath the air. i’m 76 and carry every day. i won’t hesitate for a second to protect anyone from stupidity of azzes.

      4. I’ll turn 60 next month and I am physically impaired, as well as being a long time severe chronic pain suffer.

        I have severe spinal issues, heart issues, severe GI issues, one of which nearly killed me about four and a half years ago, and like others in this thread about 20 years older than me have already said, I can’t compete physically with younger men during a confrontation.

        I refuse to allow someone to murder me because they’re upset with the world, or because they have a severe lack of self-confidence, and think that beating up innocent people who can’t defend themselves, will give them a pseudo sense of self worth.

        Neither will I allow someone to put me in a wheelchair as either a paraplegic, or a quadriplegic.

        I would have moved to another seat, and let the abuse from the other fellow roll-off me like water off a duck’s back.

        But there are more than a few young Punks/Thugs out there, who will follow older people, crippled people, and continue to harass them and threaten them.

        Should that scenario ensue, I’ll do whatever I need to do stay alive.

        You are just another anti cop Punk who can’t stand reality, nor have you ever been taught a sense of common courtesy, nor common respect.

        I suggest you read the last quote in mr. Weingarten’s article: old men won’t fight you, we’ll simply kill you.

      5. I’m an old man, former LEO, and somewhat disabled, and I will never take any kind of assault from anyone without reacting like this “old man” did. So buckle up buttercup, if you do this yourself, you may get the surprise of your life as well.

        1. Keep it up. We need more LEO’s to show the world just how out of control LEO’s can be. Is your primary disability how your mind works ? Sounds like it.
          Be sure to teach everybody the Two Rule System.
          Rule One, Cops are never wrong.
          Rule Two. When cops are dead wrong, remember Rule One because the cops will lie to prove it.

          1. You appear to have as much respect for others as the rude theater customer that was shot for his aggressive/violent reaction to a request to not use his cellphone in the theater, which is against theater policy, which is also rude to all others in attendance.

            His act of incivility cost him his life. Isn’t it better to treat others as one would like to be treated? I wouldn’t have gotten into an argument over that, nor would I have been rude enough to use my cellphone to begin with. And if I had, knowing it was wrong, I would have apologized and gotten on with my day. Why get into a fight when being civil is so much better?

            Also, I explained in another post that injuries that are not life-threatening to younger people can kill older people.

            1. I’m guessing Idaho is young and virile and apparently unapologetically stupid about the concerns older adults have with any injury. It can be life threatening in many ways. I have broken ribs that will not heal and a sharp blow to my side would probably kill me slowly. When he gets to be older and possibly feeble, I hope he can remember his callous words. My mind is sharp, my body, not so much.

            2. Did you know if was also theater policy that firearms were prohibited inside the theater? This came out at the trial. Mr. Reeves had also sent a text from the theater just a few minutes before the shooting. I’m a senior also and I can’t take on a much younger man physically. But I don’t think I would assume every argument I have with someone more powerful than I am is a life-threatening situation, even though I suppose it could be. I’m a pretty big guy myself. I don’t think my only choices (when I was young) were to either shut up when I was upset with someone not as strong as I am, or be shot. Throwing popcorn was out of line, and I can’t say I have a lot of respect for Mr. Oulson, but it’s not a capital offense to be a rude jerk by any stretch of the imagination. It is against the law to shoot someone. Even jerks

            3. He used his cell phone in one text exchange 4 minutes before the shooting. Oulsen had put his cell phone away long before the shooting. Reeves would not let it go. A cop mentality of ‘He broke the rules.’ and deserves to be reprimanded.
              REEVES HAD EARLIER TEXTED HIS SON SAYING THEY WERE IN THEIR SEATS in the theater. This is in the court transcripts. It was a ‘Do as I say, not as I do.’ issue. Reeves wanted a pissing contest to show Oulsen who was boss. As I said, if he was feeble, he should have backed away and shut up rather than continued the confrontation. If Reeves had kept his mouth shut when he returned from the lobby, this would never have happened.
              Reeves did not even comply with the detective who arrested him, refusing to put his hands behind his back. Reeves lied to the investigating detective.
              http://www.tampabay.com/news/courts/criminal/pretial-set-for-this-morning-in-movie-theater-shooting-case/2169793
              In Florida, the jury can convict of a lesser charge like manslaughter. I hope they do with a max sentence. Florida law says manslaughter is a lesser included offense of Second Degree Murder (depraved mind murder). http://www.floridasupremecourt.org/decisions/pre2004/bin/91815b.pdf
              Read the Florida Second Degree Murder statute. It fits this event.
              btw, As I said below, I know about weak bodies and bones and how they can be life threatening. A bruised ego is not life threatening.
              I have a brain injury history. If I sense somebody who wants to be violent, I don’t walk away. I run. One hit to my head can be lethal or at least life changing. I once tried to walk away from a man who wanted to argue with me. He slugged me in the back of the head and changed my life. I avoid confrontation any way I can.
              It appears JS is young and ignorant of my other posts. I am closer to Reeves generation than Oulsen’s generation. But, I have knowledge on my side.

            4. Idadho, it takes two to tango. The younger one got shot because of his aggressiveness/violent temper. Why did the elder need to “back down”, why not the younger one? He paid for his stupidity with his life, is that smart? I would have, one, not been aggressive to the elder, and, two, would have just well enough alone. Again, they were both wrong. The dumber one died because of his stupidity, that would not be me.

            5. Dave Eckart, Reeves left the confrontation to go to the lobby to complain. Oulson put his cell phone away. Reeves returned, he did not need to back down. He could have just gone back to his seat and left it alone. But, NO, he had to get in Oulsen’s face again. He reignited the confrontation.
              Throwing a mostly empty bag of popcorn is not a violent temper. Reeves had the temper issue. In fact, the charge of Second Degree Murder relates to exactly such a situation where the shooter loses it and commits murder. The witnesses say that Reeves was getting into it, not avoiding confrontation.
              Reeves did not demonstrate that he is a old man.
              I don’t think Oulsen used Reeves age as a factor. He used his attitude. This was a pissing match started by Reeves. He raised the stakes. Did he know he could raise the stakes because he knew he had the final solution ? I bet it was a big part of his decision making process. He felt empowered by the gun in his pocket. That concept can be used by the prosecutor to raise the charge to 1st Degree Murder because it shows forethought. He likely had gone over similar scenarios in his head many times and had imagined how he would react.

            6. He didn’t “demonstrate” that he was an old man? How does one do that? Walking with a cane? Saying, “oh, my arthritis”? Even if Reeves came back and tried to escalate it, again, it takes two to tango. If you tried that with me, I’d just walk away, it isn’t worth a confrontation over that. Oulson decided to use his youth and strength to fight the old man. And don’t tell me that you can tell someone is that old when they are right in front of them even in a darkened theater, it isn’t that dark.

              Yes, again, both were wrong, and now he is going to trial. The courts will decide. This is just another example of why you should avoid physical confrontations when possible. The stronger younger man lost, proving again that firearms are force equalizers.

            7. Reeves did not demonstrate he was an old man by being forceful and continuing to engage Oulsen. His mouth was trying to write checks of a younger man. Sure, Oulsen could have ignored him. But, he was being verbally assaulted in front of his wife without cause. Twice, Reeves instigated a confrontation with Oulsen who was there on a quiet matinee date with his wife.
              Oulsen was not ‘fighting’. He tossed an almost empty bag of popcorn. He DID NOT TOUCH Reeves. Only the popcorn bag came in contact with Reeves.
              As I said, it is more like Reeves felt empowered because he was carrying a gun. “Nobody is going to throw popcorn in my face and get away with it while I have a gun in my pocket. I’ll show him.” He said as much.
              I hope Reeves pleads this out as manslaughter because his wife knows that what he did was wrong and will be traumatized by a 2nd degree murder trial.

            8. Idadho, throwing anything at someone who you are confronting is an aggressive/violent act. His standing up for himself is acting young? So older people are just cower and take it? Apparently that is what the decedent thought, too.

              So because he was with his wife he was required to assault an old man? I guess it’s just my pacifist in me and everything I have learned about situational awareness and self-defense, but the prudent thing I believe to do in a situation like that is to just walk away.

              The decedent decided to fight and die. I guess that is one reason I have lived longer than him. Don’t fight when it’s not necessary.

            9. Oh Dave, I am so sorry I have intimidated you. You are such a wuss if you think a half empty bag of popcorn can be a weapon that can be used to assault someone. “Oh, I got a paper cut from a bag of popcorn. My elderly skin just can’t take such abuse.’ Did somebody kick sand in your face and you regret not standing your ground and shooting him for assault with a sandy weapon ?
              Even his elderly wife said to Reeves, “You didn’t have to shoot him!”
              This was a pissing match, not an assault. Maybe Reeves has bad ED and needs a gun to make up for his ‘short’ comings. Maybe you identify and think someone throwing a half empty bag of popcorn at you is an insult to the size of your manhood.
              You are pathetic if you think a bag of popcorn can be assault. The judge agrees with me and she had all the facts.

            10. Idadho, that’s a mighty big chip on your shoulder. Why are you now attacking me? I will be the better man and let it go.

              Again, throwing anything during a confrontation is an aggressive/violent act. He paid for his stupidity with his life. It seems that you haven’t learned that yet and you would choose the same ignorant choice.

              The decedent whether “right” or not is still dead. I would have walked away.

              The case hasn’t been tried, yet, so the jdge hasn’t ruled on that yet. The only thing that was ruled on was that it wad not “SYG”, which it wasn’t; the case is self-defense. The court will decide, we don’t have all the facts, so the best we can do speculate.

              This shows the soundness of the advice that it’s best to avoid confrontations.

          2. I was chiding you because you continue to claim that a half empty bag of popcorn is a dangerous assault weapon. ‘Your honor, he committed an act of violence with a half-empty bag of popcorn.’
            Reeves’ recent hearing was to get a self-defense immunity ruling. His attorneys did not argue for Stand Your Ground specifically. The judge ruled against the motion for self-defense immunity. The judge also observed that Reeves is in no way frail, but a large and robust man.
            http://legalinsurrection.com/2017/02/popcorn-shooting-defendant-has-self-defense-immunity-hearing/
            You may benefit from reading Massad Ayoob’s pamphlet, “In the gravest extreme : the role of the firearm in personal protection”
            Read the courts ruling.
            A defendant must establish entitlement to immunity by a preponderance of the evidence. under Section 776.013(3), Fla. stat., a person is justified in using deadly force when that person (1) is attacked in a place where he has a right to be, (2) is not engaged in any unlawful activity, and (3) reasonably believes it is necessary to use force to prevent death or great bodily harm. The first two factors are not at issue, since the defendant was inside a movie theater as an admission paying patron and there was no indication that the defendant was involved in any illegal activity at the time of the a!tercation.
            This court does find issue with the Mr. Reeves’ testimony in support of the third factor, and denies this motion for the following reasons. The physical evidence contradicts the defendant’s version of events. For instance, the defendant testified that he was hit in the outside corner of his left eye with a cell phone or a fist. The video evidence contradicts this assertion, clearly showing that there was no hit from a fist, and the item argued by the defense to be a cell phone was simply a reflection from the defendant’s shoes. Despite hours of testimony by the defense’s crime scene reconstruction expert in an effort to prove that the reflections seen in the video were those of a cell phone, other images of the defendant in the movie theater clearly show the same rectangle shaped reflection on his shoes. In addition, common sense and the credible testimony of the medical examiner casts grave doubt on the likelyhood of anything hitting the defendant in the eye beneath his g!asses in the manner the defendant described. Which begs the question, “Why did the defendant say he was hit in the left eye, to the point of being dazed, when the video images and basic physics indicate that he did not get hit in the left eye with anything?” The logical conclusion is that he was trying to justify his actions after the fact. The defendant testified that the alleged victim was virtually on top of him, and that he was grabbing the alleged victim’s chest or body with his left hand while he fired the fatal shot with his right hand, and even stated that he was surprised he did not shoot himself in the hand while doing so. The video evidence and other witness testimony contradicts this assertion also. In fact, the video clearly shows that the closest the alleged victim ever came to the defendant was when his hand reached for and grabbed the defendant’s popcorn and threw it on him. The video then shows the defendant lunge forward with his right arm extended, and fire at the alleged victim, who at that point was so far back from the defendant that he cou!d not even be seen in the video anymore. He certainly was not on top of the defendant, and plainly the defendant’s left hand was nowhere near the alleged victim’s body. In addition to the video evidence and testimony that directly contradicted the defendant’s testimony, other facts tended to show that he was not in fear of great bodily harm or death. This conduct demonstrated that he was not afraid of the alleged victim: the defendant initiated contact with the alleged victim on at least three occasions and was not concerned about leaving his wife there alone when he went to talk to the manager. As he was trained extensive!y in handling firearms and dealing with conflict situations, he was far better prepared than the average person to deal with situations such as this one. Furthermore, the defendant did not appear to be frail by any means; on the contrary he is quite a large and robust man. He also appeared quite selfassured when he was testifying, and certainly did not appear to be a man who was afraid of anyone. Because the defendant’s testimony was significantly at odds with the physica! evidence and other witness testimony, this court has considerab!e doubts about his credibility, and is not willing to come to the conclusion that these circumstances are those envisioned by the legislature when the stand your ground law was enacted. After careful consideration of al of the evidence provided in this case, this court finds that the defendant did not credibly demonstrate that he reasonably believed it was necessary for him to use deadly force in this situation, therefore, defendant’s motion is DENIED

            1. I never stated a bag of pop corn is an assault weapon. I stated that it is an aggressive/violent act. I also didn’t state that Reeves is frail. I stated that older people are more likely to suffer death from *any* injury, which makes any injury life-threatening. I offered an example of that of a coworker that died after a fall. He, too, was not frail – he jogged daily, but the stress on his body – which were minor injuries, a few scrapes and a few bruises – proved to be fatal. He was 83 years old and was still working, you tell me how frail he was.

              He was a Roman and during WWII fought for the Italians, forced to fight for the Germans or be killed, and eventually with the Allies. He told me some of his war stories – he should have died at least three times – one time he was lined-up at the edge of a ditch and the Germans shot everyone then buried them. He crawled out.

              So, at least now you admit you were wrong about the judge’s ruling. He has yet to stand trial for the crime. As I stated earlier, the court will decide.

            2. I wasn’t wrong about the judges ruling. The court ruled this was not a self-defense immunity qualified case. Read the legal analysis link. The SYG statute is a subset of self-defense immunity as far as the required components. You can’t get to SYG without fulfilling the self-defense requirements minus the avoidance requirement. The defense will have a steep hill to climb to convince a jury of self-defense. Courts usually give police, even retired police, a lot of leeway in shootings. Instead, the judge basically says he should know better that to behave the way he did.
              You sound like a liberal who needs to keep redefining the issue or move the goal posts so you don’t have to accept the facts. The court did not see the throwing of the popcorn as a violent act. How can a thrown bag of popcorn be a violent attack ? The evidence even showed that Oulsen threw the popcorn then moved away. Reeves lunged at him and fired.
              Reeves sounds like an intimidating man. His actions fit that observation. He sure was quick to pull and fire a DAO handgun.
              As I said, I know how frail people can be. I have close family experience with that frailty. 71 is not a very frail age for most unless they have an illness or osteoporosis. But, Oulsen was not reacting to a frail man. He was reacting to an aggressive and belligerent man.

      6. I can’t wait to see you screaming “but I sucked obama’s and BLM’s rear end!” while you are getting the crap beaten out of your next week at your gas station by some other “pig” hater.

    2. From what has been made public, Reeves was startled and reacted by shooting. Without wanted to ‘blame the victim’, I would not have confronted Olson about the cell use. As has been many times, if you’re armed, you’re bringing a gun to the party. I go out of my way to avoid situations that might develop, um, poorly.

      1. I agree Rick. I am a CCW holder in Florida and carry everyday. I also live about 20 minutes from where this happened.

        I have followed this story closely as it has the potential to affect my stand your ground rights. Even though this was only an evidentiary hearing for a self defense ruling, the anti-gunners will use this to try and neuter our stand your ground laws.

        Just like everyone else, I only have the facts as reported by the media as left leaning as it may be. We will never get Oulson’s side of the story.

        As a retired military member I have had to take life in defense of freedom but that does not devalue life in any way for me. No matter how obnoxious the next guy is.

        I have a bit of difficulty with it because Reeves was a retired Tampa Police Captain. Wouldn’t you think he had training on how to de-escalate a situation? If Reeves thought this was an appropriate reaction to the situation and he and his wife were truly in danger, I hope his judgement was correct and someone didn’t die for a stupid argument.

        Again, none of us were there so we don’t know.

        I have never seen this particular movie theater very crowded and in the video you see empty seats. I think even though annoyed, I would have just taken my wife and moved to another seat rather than instigate a confrontation over a cell phone.

        All the lives affected by an argument over Oulson texting his babysitter just doesn’t seem worth it. Oulson is dead, his daughter has no father, his wife has no husband and is now a single mom. Reeves will probably spend the rest of his life in prison for second degree murder if convicted or at a minimum will be financially destitute paying for his defense, his wife a single senior facing the end of life alone, and a career as a law enforcement professional eradicated.

        Texts, popcorn, and movie seats. I don’t see anything there worth somebody dying for.

        As I said in the beginning, I agree with Rick. As a daily concealed carrier I will defend myself or others who are in grave danger without hesitation however, I also will go out of my way to avoid a situation if I can which might escalate into something bad.

      2. Armed or not, avoiding unnecessary conflicts is always prudent.

        It would seem that both parties overreacted, and the aggressor paid with his life. Was it worth it to him to assault a person over a request not to use a cellphone in the theater? It is a ready a rule in theaters. Though I, too, would not have confronted him about that. Maybe the former captain still felt he had “authority”?

        Based on known “facts” the shooter appears to be in the wrong, but that is what the trial is for.

        1. When someone almost half your age suddenly turns violent and starts swinging at you it is clearly SELF DEFENSE, that is evident by the elapsed time of the incident. When it all happens in under 4 seconds the older man had every right to shoot the big punk BULLY who instantly knew he had a distinct advantage. I know because it happened to me and I’m 83 years old and I would have shot him at least twice!!!

          1. Except he DID NOT swing at him…

            He grabbed Reeves popcorn and threw it in his face. While offensive and annoying, it was hardly an action that deserved retaliatory lethal force. If Oulson had spit in his face, I have a feeling Reeves would have reacted in exactly the same manner.

            I guess you would’ve shot his wife as well then with that second round you say you would’ve fired had it been you in that situation and taking into consideration that she was trying to shield her husband…

            1. Except for this one likely scenario… what says the younger stronger man was not going to use the popcorn bag in the face as the startling agressive move to throw the old guy off his guard, then come back against him with something a WHOLE lot more lethal than a bag of popcorn? A VERY aggressive taunting move like that is often a prelude to a second move, once the victim is disoriented and surprised, that COULD well have seriously injured or killed him. We none of us were there… the video is very poor, ….. this younger guy had just lost his self control, just how far was he prepared to take his aggression against the old guy….? What MATTERS is the comprehension of the situation by the victim of what was a clear assault…. the aggressive physical action launched by the younger, stronger, more agile man was totally out of line, and a violent felony on its face,. What was to be his next move? We’ll hever know”

              This guy is dead for exactly the same reason Trayvon Martin is dead…. and Michael Brown,,, and a few others like them: his pappy never taught him to respect other people. His widow married a disrespectful dirtbag…. who has just graduated to the position of a disrepectful DEAD dirtbag. Hope he had a nice long chat with Trayvon and Michael…..

            2. Tonico, Now you are a fortune teller. A bag of popcorn is just a bag of popcorn. Reeves was sitting a foot above Oulsen. He had a superior position. NO punches were thrown.
              Somebody needs to check out B Dalton if he is a trigger happy as he says. Maybe an 83 year old man should not carry if he has that thought process. He may be a threat to himself or others….
              Reeves demonstrated that he was insulted, not threatened.
              I am amazed at how many people try to justify the actions of this ex-cop thug. Oulsen was rude but not a threat. Reeves was a control freak.

            3. Idadho, one important point to understand about older citizens is that any injury can be life-threatening. I had worked with an 83 year old, one day he fell. The fall was not a life-threatening fall, he only suffered minor scrapes and bruising. Unfortunately his body couldn’t handle injury and in a few weeks he died. So what would be a minor injury to a younger person is potentially deadly to an older person.

              The younger person should have had more respect for others and not get into an aggressive/violent confrontation over his use of the cellphone, which isn’t allowed in theaters, anyway. So, not only was he being rude to the other theater customers with his use of the cellphone, he was also aggressive/violent to an older citizen. Both were wrong in their actions, and he wouldn’t have died if he just behaved civilly.

            4. Dave Eckart, The texting happened 4 minutes before the shooting. Reeves would not let it go. He was cussed out by Oulsen in the beginning. Even though the texting was long over, Reeves still wanted to make a scene. He came back from the lobby and mouthed off to Oulsen. Oulsen responded with the popcorn bag.
              Reeves showed he could walk away but then came back to the confrontation.
              Rudeness is not assault, not matter how old the target of the rudeness is. A bag of popcorn is not assault.
              btw, You don’t need to lecture me about the fragility of elderly bodies. I have plenty of friends in that age group and am getting close to it myself. But, 71 is not as feeble as you say.
              Reeves would know if he is fragile and should be the first to back away or at least Shut Up. But, he likely felt empowered because he was armed. I bet he had even previously thought about using his handgun as he stewed in the lobby. You don’t pull a pistol from a pocket and fire so quickly unless you are already in motion, hand in pocket gripping your gun.
              Even Reeves’ wife said it was not justified to which he responded, “Shut the f…. up!”
              It sounds to me like he lost control. Voluntary Manslaughter. He brought the gun to the fight.
              btw, An acquaintance is doing 5-20 for a fatal shooting when a drunk attacker tried to take his gun after threatening verbally and physically. The shooter tried to wave the attacker off by showing his gun but the attacker got infuriated and charged to try to take the gun. While fighting over the gun, the shooter fired, thinking if he lost control of the gun, he would be dead.

            5. Idadho, and that should serve as warning to you not to be stupid and be aggressive toward someone you believe you can “take” or intimidate. Your debating his “fragility” is not the issue. The arrogance, insolence, incivility, aggressiveness and violence of the younger one not just letting well enough alone got him killed. I would have just let it go. It’s not worth fighting over. And, yes, throwing anything at someone is a violent action. He got what was coming to him. Why get into a violent confrontation when one does not have to? He did because he felt he could “take” the older man and was going to intimidate him. He paid for his stupidity and arrogance with his life. Was that worth it?

            6. By your reasoning the old man will be doing the rest of his life behind bars be worth because his sense of honor was more important that the concept of genuine self-defense? He’d rather be a lifer than thought of looking weak in the eyes of others? He sounds as though he will spend the rest of his life in the place where he was always meant to be.

            7. You are the one that is stating this is about the shooter’s honor. The facts as known do not support that claim. The younger man became aggressive/violent during a verbal dispute. The shooter’s reaction to a violent act has nothing to do with his honor. Whether the shooting was justified is now up to the courts to decide.

              If I were the decedent, I would still be alive today because I would not have gotten aggressive/violent over this issue. I would have just walked away. Based on the “facts” as we know them, it would seem the younger man thought he could intimidate the older man. He paid for his stupidity with his life. Was that worth it? I’d have just let it go and lived to see another day.

            8. The FACTS do show this was about Reeves’ honor. He said “Throw popcorn in my face” preceded by “I’ll show you to” or “I’ll teach you to.” This was heard by three witnesses/patrons. Reeves’ own son said Reeves said “He threw popcorn in my face.”
              Dave, You keep trying to frame this as “aggressive/violent” but the judge said it was not violent. She said that Reeves was the aggressor as he confronted Oulson THREE times.
              A fourth theater patron, Jane Roy, was seated down the row from Reeves. She said he brushed past her when he left the theater to complain that Oulson was using a cell phone during movie previews.
              “You could tell he was agitated,” she said of Reeves. “He was mumbling and he was very brusk.”
              Roy said she feared Reeves was about to start a fight.”I knew that Mr. Reeves was a very big man, and he frightened me,” she said.
              Reeves was 6-foot-1 and 270 pounds, according to his arrest affidavit. Oulson was 6-foot-4 and 205 pounds, according to his autopsy report.
              The court has already ruled the shooting was not justified.
              But, you go ahead and Stand Your Ground on “aggressive/violent” You seem obsessed with that term. I bet you are trying to justify Reeves because you are afraid you would react the same. You can’t let if go either. Who kicked sand in your face and pissed you off ?
              Unfortunately, Oulson’s familiy will likely get nothing in a civil suit because Reeves is spending everything he has on his defense. His defense has likely cost him $60,000 to $80,000 already and will cost the same or more for trial and more for the appeals being filed.

            9. The court did not rule that Reeves is guilty of killing Oulson. The court ruled it didn’t meet SYG, which it wasn’t anyway, if anything, it was self-defense. Yes, throwing anything at someone during a confrontation is an aggressive/violent act. How you arrive at this being about me and what my actions may or not be is absurd and I have repeatedly explained I would have avoided the confrontation to begin with. Too bad the decedent didn’t use self-defense methods to avoid or de-escalate the situation or avoid it altogether, and/or situational awareness methods to avoid conflict and death. Being agitated is not even close to loss of “honor”. Do you suffer loss of honor anytime you might get “agitated” or annoyed?

              You seem to be the one that “can’t let it go”. You insist your version and his feelings are right. I have repeatedly stated that we don’t know all the facts, and certainly not what was going through either or both of these men’s minds at the time.

              What we do know is the decedent decided confrontation and intimidation was the right way to proceed and died for it. As I have repeatedly stated, it is not worth it, and I would have just walked away. Now it is up to the court to decide if the shooter was justified. I also have stated that based on the “facts” in this story, it would appear the shooter was not justified, but, again, that’s up to the court to decide.

              Personally, I would rather live to see another day, than get into a confrontation in a theater about cellphone use, but then I wouldn’t have been using my cellphone in the theater to begin with.

            10. The court ruled that is was not only not SYG but that it was also NOT SELF-DEFENSE.
              I’m not arguing my opinion. I am arguing the court ruling and the facts in evidence.
              The court ruled IT WAS NOT SELF-DEFENSE. That is not my claim. That is the court’s.
              The court ruled that the evidence showed there was not an attack on Reeves and that Reeves was not in fear of Oulson. Those two issues mean it was not self-defense.
              SYG is easier to claim than self-defense. If he could not even get a SYG immunity, he could not get a self-defense immunity which has stricter standards. This is what the court ruled.

            11. And again, this was only an immunity hearing, not a trial by judge or jury on whether or not he was justified in shooting. Whether or not the judge ruled it wasn’t SYG or self-defense at the immunity hearing does not mean when he is prosecuted for killing the man, he can’t be found not guilty. That is the reason for trial. All we are doing is speculation.

              I have repeatedly stated that based on the facts in this story, it would not appear to be a justified shooting, and that is purpose of the trial. The immunity hearing was only to determine if it should go to trial, it did not establish his guilt nor innocence.

            12. You repeatedly said that even though it was not a SYG case, it WAS a self-defense case. The judge said that, based on statute, it did not qualify for immunity under self-defense. She said in her ruling that Oulson’s actions were not aggressive/violent. She said what it wasn’t. Only a due process trial can say what it is.
              So, now we wait to see if his attorney’s waste his money on appeals of the immunity denial or negotiate a plea to keep his sentence to a minimum.

            13. Correct, he lost the immunity plea and will now go to trial. That does not preclude him being found justified; however, as I have repeatedly stated, the known “facts” do not appear to support self-defense.

            14. He will not be found justified by a jury. That is what the judge refused to do. He may be found ‘not guilty’ but that does not mean he was justified. Juries just decide if a trial convinces them of guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.
              I think throwing the popcorn bag was done as an insult, not as an act of aggression. Reeves comments show he took it as an insult.
              This was like street gang posturing.

      3. @Rick, I believe you’ve given a very good explanation of common sense. Carrying a firearm comes with a great deal of responsibility.

    3. Oh, and don’t forget that the late, evil Chad Oulson was texting the babysitter to check on his daughter DURING THE PREVIEWS when Reeves initiated the confrontation. The damn movie hadn’t even started yet! That alone should get Reeves a 2nd Degree Murder conviction, since no reasonable person would actually get that up in arms about missing a few trailers, most of which are a total waste of time anyway. I’d even wager that Oulsons emotions and action were intensified by this simple fact out of sheer incredulity. Furthermore, Reeves has shown zero remorse over the killing. Talk about your entitled, “Samurai-class”-former-law-enforcement-type.

      Unless Oulson had either physically climbed over the seats or come around to Reeves row to confront him, I don’t care how “elderly” or “trapped” in his seat he was. This was a bad shoot from any angle you look at it. Descalate, apologize, change seats, rat him out to the manager…or you could just mind your business and not start a meaningless confrontation during previews and then shoot the guy when he gets upset and throws popcorn at you…

      1. You know I think that is why I have such a hard time believing Reeves. He did walk out to the lobby to complain about Oulson then returned to his seat and continued the argument.

        Even if this texting for some reason, and I don’t know why that would be, REALLY pissed you off wouldn’t you have had time to cool off a little bit while you were waiting to complain to the staff. It should have allowed you to maybe reevaluate the situation and walk away from it. Especially as trained prior law enforcement.

        I know pride and my male ego have made me do some ignorant things but I just can’t see the use of force here.

        As I said in my reply to Rick, I live about 20 minutes away from this theater so I’m familiar with it. It sits next to a strip mall with an Outback Steakhouse, Cracker Barrel, Best Buy, Dick’s sporting Goods, and a Bed Bath and Beyond.

        This all happened at about 1:30 in the afternoon. If Reeves was that enraged over this, why not just tell the staff when he got up to refund his money or give him a pass for a later showing?

        He could have taken his wife out to lunch, walked her around Bed Bath and Beyond ( although I will say if I spent an hour in there with my wife looking at scented candles, soaps, and imported Chinese wicker crap, I’d probably want to kill myself ) then catch the later show.

        In a month you wouldn’t even remember the stupid altercation no matter who was the instigator.

      2. And was it worth Oulson’s life to violently confront the requester about use of his cellphone? Another good reason not to needlessly confront anyone; they were both wrong, and the aggressor paid for it with his life.

        I am a pacifist, and avoid physical confrontations, when possible, but I will defend myself and my family to any extent if needed and necessary. My life is worth more than yours, and because of that I avoid bad situations. Much better to live to see another day than risk it for no good reason.

      1. By “punk” you mean the unarmed 43 year old father of a 3 year old girl and husband with no history of violent behavior or criminal record to speak of?

        So what derogatory name would you call his wife, who tried to stop the bullet (that ultimately killed her husband) by lunging in front of him in order to shield him and was wounded in the process?

    4. When this incident originally broke, I was on Reeves’ side. But during the SYG hearing, a sheriff’s deputy who was there that day testified that he clearly heard Reeves say (after firing the shot) “Throw popcorn in my face, will ya'”. He was adamant that was what Reeves said, and didn’t waver at all under cross-examination. That totally changed my mind, and now I agree with Dave Eckart when he said “Maybe the former captain still felt he had “authority”?” Reeves was being a jerk and felt he was entitled to be the “law” in that situation, and grossly overreacted, and still shows no remorse. He deserves what he gets if he is found guilty at trial!

    5. There was a passage in the “Godfather” where Veto Carleon was mentoring his son. The old Don said, “Son there are people in this world that walk through life just begging to be killed. They are most disagreeable in their social intercourse with their fellow man. Or words to that effect.
      It would seem to me that the individual who assaulted the elder retired police officer was one of those people. He finally got what he wished for. I wonder how many other aggressive and violent acts this individual had perpetrated against other people? kind of makes you wonder.

      1. Really? How many times have you done something stupid or had a bad time and why didn’t someone shoot you like you deserve? The Cop should have went to the the usher “the appropriate authority” and filed his complaint, like we all have to DO when some jack ass like you pisses us off with stupidity. The usher would have then gone and asked the guy to get off the cell phone and leave. The Cop “took matters into his own hand,” and this is what makes all of us gun owners look bad.
        The Cop, should have followed the rules and gone to the “authority” to ask the jack ass to get off his phone.

        If I were the Judge this old cop would be doing 20 years hard labor for not following the RULES.

      2. Please read the previous comments…

        I feel like the proverbial broken record here but I fail to see how a father and husband with, as far as I know, a clean criminal record and no reported violent behavior who threw popcorn in somebody’s face is somebody “begging to be killed.”

        The remorseless shooter, regardless of being an elderly, infirm, ex-cop or whatever was the only one armed that day and was the one who initiated this completely petty confrontation. He’s the one who should have been the bigger man and de-escalated the situation instead of gunning down a guy who threw popcorn in his face (and wounding his wife in the process to boot).

        As far as I know, the only time the shooter cried was when they announced his bail and he probably realized how unpleasant his life was about to become in prison as an elderly, ex-cop. Of course he ended up getting house arrest somehow on a 2nd Degree Murder charge which defies all logic…

    6. “During that period, Chad Oulson snatched the popcorn container from Reeves lap, flung it at his face from about a foot away, rapidly extended his hand toward Reeves face again, and pulls it back, fractions of a second before Reeves shoots. In the video, you can only see Oulson’s outstretched arm and hand.”

      ????? I watched the video at least a dozen times, and though I am a senior myself, I’m far from blind. Mr. Weingarten’s makes it sound as if Oulson reached out toward Reeves a second time after flinging the popcorn at him. That’s simply isn’t reflected in the video. All it shows is Oulson’s arm outstretched from throwing the popcorn before Reeves immediately guns him down. For an old guy, his reflexes are pretty good to react that quickly. More likely he had the gun at the ready and was waiting to fire it. Sorry — I’m no cop hater (I do dislike people who text or use their phones in dark theaters) and I have no problem with people defending themselves, but Reeves is a murderer, plain and simple, and all the excuse-making in the world doesn’t change that fact. Even his wife knew better and remarked in front of witnesses that he had no cause to shoot the man.

      1. There ARE bad cops and from everything that is known from the video and discussion here REEVES IS A BAAAD COP! I wonder how many other citizens were mistreated by Reeves during his active duty as a police officer?

    7. Some of the testimony from the trial is not mentioned. I am also local to this court case. Reeves first asked Oulson to refrain from using his cell during the movie and was rebuffed. He then asked the theater manager to intervene, angering Oulson. This led to the popcorn throwing. Testimony indicated that Oulson then threw his cell phone in Reeve’s face, dislodging his eyeglasses and blurring his vision. Reeves testified that he believed that Oulson was continuing to assault him at the time although his vision was blurred. The judge’s decision seemed to be based on a disportionate use of force by Reeves. I don’t understand why Reeves didn’t initially just move away from Oulson, who appears to have been acting like an ass.

      1. Everything you said was dismissed as lies by the judge. No phone was thrown, it was the light reflecting off his shoes (he was wearing those damn plastic/leather ones) that were buffed to high heaven.

        Reeves actually texted his son 4 minutes before all of this happened, that is on record as well.. So it is ok for him to do it but nobody else?

        Reeves actually started the confrontation as mentioned by all the witnesses brought in to testify.

        Apparently your are not local enough to have any reading comprehension.

        I too am local to the area. Live in Island Estates and feel this ex-cop needs to cool his heels in jail until he dies. He will have it easy in a medical ward or something similar living in protective custody on the taxpayers dime unfortunately.

    8. Will this affect the use of popcorn as a weapon if they continue to claim self-defense ? “BUT, he assaulted me with popcorn and it was my $8.00 tub of popcorn.” It sounds like Reeves was a common control freak cop.
      What’s next? Farts are offensive so you can shoot back. “I’ll show you. You’ll know what a fart smells like when I severe your spinal cord and your bowels let loose.”
      What about Reeves chomping on popcorn or rustling the popcorn in the victim’s ear ? Could the victim have turned and said, ‘Stop comping on popcorn in my ear or I’m going to shoot you.’ ?
      This should be plead down to voluntary manslaughter and a sentence of 15 years, out in 10.
      But, where can they incarcerate a cop safely ?

    9. Be careful you don’t spill popcorn on Dean Weingarten. It sounds like he just might respond with deadly force. It is interesting how Dean makes it into felony assault because the shooter is elderly. If the shooter was 60, would Dean have said it was just misdemeanor assault and did not warrant use of deadly force ?
      “You are being a jerk but since you are an old man, I don’t dare throw your popcorn or you will feel entitled to shoot me. If you were younger, we could go mano a mano.
      The assault on the elderly laws are to prevent predatory actions against the elderly. This was not predatory. The victim did not throw the popcorn because Reeves was elderly. He threw it because he was being a jerk. Plus, did the victim even know how old Reeves was in a dark theater ?

      1. Not only is a disparity in size is a disparity in force, but also a disparity in age. Why did did the younger man react in a violent manner? In my experience it is because he was using his size/age to intimidate the elderly man. He paid for that mistake with his life. Both were wrong. I worked with an 83 year old man. He was always in good health until one day he fell. After that event, he didn’t recover, even though the fall was not a life threatening event, he eventually died several weeks later. Any injury when you are old can be debilitating or deadly. Recall after Jim Brady died, it was ruled as due to his being shot 30+ years earlier?

        1. Heller never mentioned wounded honor as worthy of lethal force. He will never have any honor except with the pro-cop crowd who do not deserve any respect when they act so ignorant.
          Anybody who has seen first hand how fast cops can escalate a confrontation will understand how this happened. Cops are trained to never lose control of any contact no matter what it takes The escalation of force rules are always use more force than the subject. Stronger voice beats normal voice. So, gun beats popcorn, even if it is just a bag.

        2. Gil, and you use your 1A to continually show the ignorance and insanity of those that are anti-gun. Honor killings are done by Muslims and those that inhabit inner-city welfare tracts. This site is not the place for your nonsense.

          1. Throwing a bag of popcorn is not violence. He grabbed the popcorn then threw it in Reeves face. Tough cop Reeves can’t take a bag of popcorn without drawing his firearm. The crime scene photos show that it wasn’t even very much popcorn .Reeves was sitting in a row about a foot above Oulsen. Reeves had a superior position position on Oulsen. Maybe he should go look for a safe place. He has one with house arrest while on bail. It has been 4 years and he is still out on bail.
            I bet Reeves’ complaint was the light from Oulsen’s phone since texting does not make a loud noise. Lame ass old man. Even Reeves’ wife does not believe he was justified in shooting Oulsen. The judge stated that witness testimony and evidence show that Reeves’ account is not true.

            1. I think the physical layout of the theater will be the deciding factor in this case and should hopefully remove any reasonable doubt from the minds of the jury.

              As mentioned above, Reeves was sitting in a row both above and behind Oulson. It’s entirely possible Oulson grabbed and threw the popcorn at Reeves simply because it was the only thing in reach but never would have been able to mount any kind of serious assault or do any life-threatening damage without either first climbing/jumping over his row or walking around and down Reeves row to his position. Had he done either of those things, I’d say Reeves age might have actually made this a justifiable homicide. Oulson, however, did neither and simply snatched and threw a bag of popcporn. The only part of Reeves that was actually in any danger that day was his fragile ego and Oulson paid with his life over wounding it.

              Wow, look at that, I’m a year -1 Law School Student and I just put together a case that the prosecution could use to remove reasonable doubt!

              And the comment above comparing Oulson to MB and TM is disgusting. MB went for a cop’s gun and then charged him. TM was in the process of potentially beating someone to death. Both were rightfully shot for their violent acts.

            2. No, Dave, Your bad logic is that throwing a small bag of popcorn is a violent/aggressive act when the judge, with the help of experts reviewing the video, determined that throwing the popcorn was not a violent act or attack at Reeves. You keep ignoring that. You ignore the fact that Oulson was stepping away after throwing the popcorn.
              You and your ‘situational awareness’ training obsession does not change the facts.
              What did Oulson not observe in the situation ? Reeves was trained in situational awareness but failed miserably.
              You don’t even get my point then I said you can’t ‘just shut up.’ I was demonstrating a point about how even you want to continue the confrontation to prove that you are right. Now, I know that there is enough information on the internet for someone like you to find out where I live and come knock my door down. But, our argument does not rise to that level just as arguing about PAST cell phone texting does not rise to that level. Throwing a half-empty bag of popcorn does not either.
              Who’s to say that Reeves would not have put a bullet in the back of Oulson’s head if Oulson received a text while the previews were finishing ?
              There was no evidence that Reeves was carrying. It was mouth vs mouth and nobody was going to enjoy the movie until Reeves shut his mouth.
              I’ve proven time and again that even you can’t let a disagreement drop but you say Oulson should have walked away as Reeves continued to confront him.
              You can’t even admit that throwing a half-empty bag (waxed tissue paper) of popcorn is not a violent/aggressive act like the judge determined.
              Let it go and go away.
              And, I was not making strawman arguments, just hypothetical observations that could be similar to what happened. I have no way of knowing more because there was not more witness testimony published. Do you even know what a strawman argument is ? You keep saying that Oulson was trying to intimidate Reeves. The evidence does not support that but does not deny it either. How do you know what he was thinking ?
              We drive down the highway every day expecting that even the jerk drivers have limits to how they drive. We expect that they may weave in and out and cut us off but they will try to avoid contact. They may even make aggressive driving moves but expect that others will just let them pass. The worst jerks are not looking for contact. But, Reeves stepped way out of the normal behavior when he pulled a concealed gun, despite the Gun Free Zone signs.

            3. Idadho, Reeves did not suffer from poor situational awareness, he survived the incident. Whether he was justified in shooting does not pertain to his situational awareness. According to him, he perceived a threat.

              Whether or not the throwing of an object during a heated dispute is aggressive/violent or not, doesn’t really matter. Reeves took it to be, and shot Oulson because of it. Reeves did not have the opportunity to discuss his perception of that act with you or the judge before he shot Oulson.

              Even if I agree with you that throwing something during a heated dispute isn’t an aggressive/violent act, it clearly did not help Oulson, in fact that got him killed.

              You are the one that is continuing the discussion, and at least the last several or more of your posts involved personal attacks and your “beliefs” of what “should” have happened, not what *did* happen. All of my posts discussed my experience and knowledge of self-defense and situational awareness and how that would have resulted in Oulson living that day. That has no bearing on the justification for the shooting, which I have stated does not appear to be so.

              So, you at least agree that events that one does not “expect” can happen, which is my whole point about avoiding needless confrontations. One may not reasonably expect an outcome, but if one is not in the situation to begin with, one does not have to worry about that outcome.

              You again are raising “hypothetical” possibilities that have no relevance in what *did* happen. My posts relate directly to what did happen and how to avoid that. You are right, my comments on awareness do not change the facts. I am not looking to change the facts. I am discussing the incident and the prudent way to avoid that happening to me or anyone else.

              You stated, “I know that there is enough information on the internet for someone like you to find out where I live and come knock my door down.” What? Now you are threatening me with violence? I have no idea who you are, you are using a screen name of Idaho. I am not the one launching ad hominem attacks and getting emotional. As you stated, that is not a reasonable reaction to this discussion, neither are your ad hominem attacks and getting emotional.

            1. Not in the least. We all believe that both parties were wrong. Both could have de-escalated the confrontation, but didn’t. This is more proof of one of the rules of situational awareness and self-defense, avoid confrontations when possible. Now the court gets to decide, not a place I would want to be. It also proves that firearms are force equalizers, the younger, stronger man lost the fight.

            2. No the younger guy was still in the edge of the 1A while the old man took liberties with the 2A. When you use force to defend yourself and others against a credible threat of unjustified force then it’s self-defence. When you use force to defend your property against vandal and theft it’s property defense. When you use force to defend your pride and sense of honor because someone is being jerk it’s honor defense.

            3. The violent reaction of the decedent is what led to his death, not his words. It was his unwillingness to just walk away and his willingness to intimidate an old man that got him killed.

              It’s now up to the court to decide if the shooter was justified. I don’t know about you, but if I were the decedent, I would have just walked away and not escalated the confrontation. It would seem he thought being younger and stronger he could intimidate the old man. He paid with his life for his stupidity. To me, that was not worth it.

            4. You’re confusing anger with violence. As Dude Man wrote you want this guy to be acquitted because you could see yourself doing the same thing in the same situation. You’re hoping this case being acquitted would see you getting a bravery medal instead of the rest of your life behind bars.

            5. Gil, I don’t know where in my statements where I have posted that the facts as known in this story do not support self-defense that you could possibly read into that that I believe he was justified. Also, trying to personally tie me to this man is absurd, since I have repeatedly stated I would not find myself in that situation, since I would just walk away, and that I do not see any benefit in getting into a dispute over cellphone use at a theater.

              I am not mistaking anger for violence. Throwing something at someone during a confrontation is a violent act. The decedent’s action was clearly to intimidate the older man, which is aggressive/violent. That act escalated the conflict, for which he paid the ultimate price. That, to me, wasn’t worth it. If the decedent was that angry, he should have walked away, why escalate a bad situation?

              I believe in my training and in all I have learned by my parents, in life, and in self-defense and situational awareness. I avoid situations that may lead to confrontations – I value my life more than that. I even avoid areas that may result in physical injury or death while hiking, such as loose stone, gravel, dirt on steep slopes of hills and mountains, and cliff edges, which I have read occasionally break taking the unwary with them.

            6. AL, you & co. are constantly defending the old man as if to say the younger guy was looking for a fight and found one so he can hardly cry foul when he lost the fight.

            7. Gil, I’m not sure how in my statement where I stated based on the facts as we know them, that it does not appear that he was justified do you interpret that to mean I believe he was justified.

              I do believe that if the decedent had just walked away, and not escalated the situation, he’d be alive today. That is in no way stating that shooting him was right nor justified. As I have stated, it does not appear to be justified, based on the known facts.

              I also repeatedly stated that I would not get into that situation to begin with and strive to avoid getting into confrontations. None of that can be remotely construed to mean that the shooter was justified. The results of this event further re-enforce my belief and training that shows it is best to avoid these types of situations.

              I am not sure where you get idea that I am justifying the shooting when I have repeatedly stated the opposite. I have stated it takes two to tango, which as I have repeatedly stated, he should have just walked away – I would have, and as proof, I am still alive today.

            8. Your first comment made it clear you think the old man has the right of self-defense as if to say “throwing popcorn was an aggressive criminal act and should be seen with the same severity as throwing a knife. The fact popcorn is less dangerous than a knife doesn’t matter rather hitting someone is criminal as should be treated the same way regardless.”

            9. Dave,
              “he should have just walked away – I would have, and as proof, I am still alive today.”
              So, you were there and confronted by Reeves ?
              You wouldn’t have to shoot anybody. You would just bore them to death repeating the same old bad logic.

            10. Gil, you state I posted, throwing popcorn was an aggressive criminal act and should be seen with the same severity as throwing a knife. The fact popcorn is less dangerous than a knife doesn’t matter rather hitting someone is criminal as should be treated the same way regardless.” I never stated that.

              Yes, everyone has a right to self-defense. I also stated that based on the facts as presented, Reeves does not appear justified in shooting. Keep beating that dead horse.

            11. @Idadho, interesting that you find it “bad” logic to not get into a needless violent confrontation. My “bad” logic has kept me out of many situations that could have become dangerous or violent. That seems “smart” to me.

              No, I wasn’t there, and *if* I was, as I have repeatedly stated, I would not have escalated a heated dispute with, as witnesses have stated, an agitated person. As I have stated confrontations can turn violent. This is just another instance of this. Since this story here was published, I have found a number of theater shootings that started as a verbal confrontation, which further proves my point, avoid needless confrontations.

              It appears you have run out of debate points and are now just personally attacking me. I travel often and I make sure to be aware of my surroundings. When I was younger and more foolish, I found myself in a couple situations that were not the best. None of those situations were do to me provoking someone visibly upset nor escalating a dispute, but were still situations that I didn’t need to be in. Since then, I have found that situational awareness has kept me out of those types of situations.

              I have found that situational awareness has heightened my awareness while driving, too. I feel that I have been paying more attention to more than what is directly around my car. That has prevented me from having several crashes that I would probably have been in before my heightened awareness. Recently a large SUV went through 3 1/2 lanes before noticing me. I noticed her since she was traveling at a high rate of speed in the left-most lane, then began to careen towards me in my lane. I took evasive action before she hit me. Who would have expected someone not to look to the right when going through three lanes of traffic? I surely didn’t, but situational awareness kept me safe.

    10. The fact is, a violent confrontation happened within just a few seconds. One could argue that Mr. Reeves was reacting according to his training. He certainly wanted to avoid injury at the hands of a physically more powerful and younger man.

      Like it or not, there is enough material here for a first year law student to put together a case of reasonable doubt. And that’s all it will take to acquit.

      At a minimum, it will be a hung jury. If they retry it, then another hung jury, at which point it will be over with.

      I’ve been a critic of several police shootings, but I could not vote guilty if I were on the jury.

      Regardless of how Mr. Reeves reacted, he was not the initial aggressor. Mr. Oulson made the schoolyard choice of being a bully, and it did not work out well for him like it may have in the past. I believe in this case, the actor and not the reactor has the greater guilt, and that’s why I’d acquit.

      1. Using the “it might have turned violent” is putting the cart before the horse when in reality it was an honor killing. He couldn’t think of a middle ground solution so he took the extreme one.

    11. ASSAULT is THREATENING to throw the bag of popcorn at someone’s face.
      BATTERY is THE ACT OF THROWING the bag of pc into someone’s face!!!
      I watched a self-defense program where one man swung a club at another man’s head. The 2nd man took it away from the man attempting to commit BATTERY on the 2nd man. The instructor said once the club was taken away it would have been ILLEGAL for the 2nd man to strike the 1st man in the head with the club which act COULD HAVE BEEN LETHAL. If the 1st man continued his aggression it WOULD HAVE BEEN LEGAL for the 2nd man to strike the 1st man in the leg or elsewhere to disable him BUT NOT IN THE HEAD!

      1. An assault is carried out by a threat of bodily harm coupled with an apparent, present ability to cause the harm. The bag of popcorn cannot inflict bodily harm. I can just imagine Reeves claiming he was fearful that he was going to be battered by a half-empty bag of popcorn.
        That self-defense program was very generic with its information and trying to avoid legal specifics due to the differences between state statutes. In the U.S., the general rule is that “[a] person is privileged to use such force as reasonably appears necessary to defend him or herself against an apparent threat of unlawful and immediate violence from another.”
        In this case, Reeves seriously overstepped his bounds with level of force because the popcorn bag was not a threat of bodily harm. .

        1. I haven’t read any comments supporting dueling.

          As far as the threat of assault, the decedent’s aggressive/violent reaction is a threat, the pop corn wasn’t the threat, the act of aggression was. The younger, stronger man trying to intimidate the older man by showing an aggressive/violent reaction to a verbal dispute was the threat of violence. Without knowing all the facts, and not knowing what was going on in each man’s mind, we can only speculate about the real cause(s) that resulted in the shooting.

          The only things we know for sure are that neither man was in the right, neither de-escalated the confrontation, nor just walked away. This shows the soundness of the advice given in self-defense training and when practicing situational awareness, avoid confrontations when possible. If that advice was followed the younger man would still be alive. The issue that precipitated the confrontation was not worth dying for.

          1. Even the Zimmerman vs Martin case had proportionality, dimwit. As soon as you & co. allow for emotions to dictate the right to shoot others you’re in the realm of honor defense not self-defense.

            1. The only emotion/honor that we know for sure that were involved were the decedents. He turned a verbal dispute into a violent one. Self-defense is not emotional, unless you consider wanting to remain uninjured or not killed emotional.

              History is filled with verbal exchanges that have turned deadly. Never get into a confrontation that you are not willing to die for – this was not one of those times.

              The “facts” as known would seem the shooter over-reacted. This is up to the courts to decide if the shooter was justified.

            2. Any half-wit should know anger and emotion aren’t reasons for claiming self-defense let alone the “he might have gotten violent” excuse. This case would clearly set a precedence for duels and honor killings should he be acquitted.

            3. I believe you posted to the wrong thread. Your post isn’t remotely related to my last post, which yours is under.

              There was no duel nor any “killing due to honor”. The shooter was not a Muslim killing his daughter because she was “defiled” or refused to marry the man who bought her.

              This was strictly about a verbal confrontation that turned violent, then deadly. A situation that was not worth dying over. A situation that one paid the ultimate price for stupidity, regardless of whether or not the shooting is ruled justified. Based on the facts presented in this story, it would appear it was not justified, but it is now up to the courts to decide. That’s not a place I would ever want to be in. I avoid situations that may lead to confrontations, even if I was 6′ 4″, 200+ pounds, as I understand the decedent was, I still would not be looking for a fight.

            4. Garbage, it was not a violent confrontation but an argument that the old man felt he couldn’t look weak in the eyes of others therefore he shot the guy dead. No, the other guy shouldn’t have “let it go” because he might dealing with a violent psychopath. You might as well lock yourself if you’re going to assume everyone is a violent psychopath with a hair trigger. Apparently you think its’ okay to get shot if you look at someone the wrong way and they get offended.

              P.S. Yes it was an honor killing because his sense of pride and honor was getting hurt. Quit assuming honor killings is something only Muslims do.

            5. I never stated that “honor” killings are *only* done by Muslims, but that is what we read frequently in the news when they do occur, even here in the USA.

              Yes, the decedent should have walked away. He died because he felt *his* ego/honor would be tarnished, instead, he lost his life. Not a situation I would get into, and I sure wouldn’t escalate it by an aggressive/violent action toward someone that you said was already agitated/enraged. That’s pure stupidity, and that is what got him killed.

              Apparently, I am aware that people that are agitated/enraged may act on those feelings and do something violent. One reads about that in the news often enough that I am smart enough to learn by others mistakes and not do it myself. Should he have died because of his stupidity? In Utopia, it wouldn’t happen, here on Earth, it does. And that is why I avoid those types of situations.

              I take this as yet another learning event that re-enforces my belief that it is better to not get into those situations, and avoid them when possible.

              I just read another account of this event and it stated that Reeves went to his car and retrieved his gun after the manger refused to do anything about his complaint. He then confronted Oulson. Oulson foolishly escalated the conflict by his aggressive action and died as a result. Again, not a situation I would get myself into. The facts as known look grim for the shooter.

            6. In EVERY case, Reeves escalated this event. After going to the lobby, he could have just returned to his seat. Instead, he got in Oulson’s face. Oulson responded to Reeves obnoxious and belligerent behavior.
              It was Reeves’ honor that was injured. I bet Oulsen said something like “Shut the F.. up old man and sit down.” Throwing the popcorn was his way of dismissing the old man.
              “What we do know is the decedent decided confrontation and intimidation was the right way to proceed and died for it.” “The only emotion/honor that we know for sure that were involved were the decedents. He turned a verbal dispute into a violent one.” You keep claiming facts that are not in evidence. In fact, the evidence shows that Reeves was the emotional one. Oulson was just responding to Reeves.
              If Reeves did go to his car to retrieve his gun, that can change this to First Degree Murder. I’d like to see a link to that information.
              But, at Reeves’ age, a manslaughter plea would make a lot of sense. 15 years for a 74 year old man is life.

            7. Idadho, if he said what you stated, or similar, then threw something at the older man, he *escalated* the confrontation with that aggressive/violent action and words. No, it was not about honor, and if it was, it was Oulson’s “honor” that he did not just walk away.

              Apparently Oulson’s “response” got him killed. That shows how stupid he was to not just walk away. I personally would choose walk away and live another day. That was a confrontation he didn’t have to escalate and then he could have lived to live to tell about it.

              I am in no way stating that the shooting was justified, and the facts as known do not support it. I am only stating that it is wiser to not get into a confrontation to begin with. That is what all the training and reading I have done about self-defense and situational awareness always states. This proves that point. And you do not need to be a gun owner to employ that learning, just being sentient works.

              I am not sure what site I had read that he got a gun from the vehicle, but I was unable to verify that now. I did find several other stories, and one that involved a dispute in a line to get pop corn, where the shooter did retrieve a gun from a vehicle and come back into the theater and shoot someone.

              Now having read several more versions of events, some more detailed than others, it still doesn’t look good for him. He probably will die in prison, regardless of what charge he gets convicted for. What is also odd is that everyone that was interviewed that knew/knows him, all state he isn’t one to get easily excited nor violent.

            8. Dave, You stated “I do believe that if the decedent had just walked away, and not escalated the situation, he’d be alive today. ”
              This could have easily said,”I do believe that if the DEFENDANT had just SHUT UP, and not escalated the situation, he’d not be facing prison today. ”
              The court documents state that Reeves confronted Oulson 3 times. Each time, he could have left it alone. The third time, Oulsen was sitting quietly in his seat with his cell phone in his pocket when Reeves confronted him after returning from the lobby. Reeves could have observed that his earlier demand to stop using the cell phone had been complied with and just returned to his seat WITHOUT further confrontation.
              Tell me, How many men, after having put their phone away many minutes ago, would not react to further harassment? Was Reeves going to continue to harass and mumble about the cell phone during the movie ? All Reeves had to do was Shut up !!! The popcorn throwing was no different than throwing a glass of water in somebody’s face when they will not shut up. It was not an aggressive/violent action. Insulting maybe. Oulson stepped away after throwing the popcorn as if it was a final word. Have you even seen the picture that shows the empty popcorn bag and the spilled popcorn ?

            9. Idadho, that will not make the decedent any less dead. The point is the decedent chose to continue the confrontation, and chose to escalate it. No matter how you wish to twist it, he’s dead due to his actions. Yes, the shooter could have also chosen not to shoot, but he didn’t. The fact is other man is dead due to choices he (the decedent) made.

              You are now trying to justify the decedent’s actions that got him killed. It takes two to tango. A glass of water would also spur an already enraged/agitated person to violence. So you are admitting the decedent escalated the confrontation with an aggressive/violent act.

              This, again, as I have stated numerous times, proves that confrontations may lead to violence and death, and that as taught in self-defense and situational awareness, one should avoid confrontation and get away when one can. The decedent chose confrontation and death. Again, I am not stating that his death is justified, but it is the result here, and he chose to intimidate and die. I would have chosen life and walked away as I was taught. Take this situation as a learning event and don’t do what the decedent did. I don’t know about you, but my life is worth more than a dispute over cellphone usage.

            10. I do not agree that Oulson escalated the event. He was just responding to Reeves continued harassment. Who would ever expect that telling someone to Shut Up would result in getting shot. Even throwing the popcorn should not result in getting shot. Reeves was not a gang banger in gang attire.
              I do not agree that the popcorn was aggressive/violent. As I said, It was likely meant as a insult to a petty old man. It could just as easily caused Reeves to stop, if just to pick up the popcorn.
              I put the whole event on Reeves. Oulson had long ago stopped using his cell phone but Reeves continued to confront him. And, I don’t fault Oulson for texting the baby sitter during the previews. Reeves had been texting his son from his seat a bit earlier. Reeves was such a hypocrite.
              It is unfortunate that Reeves arrogant stupidity cost Oulson his life and Reeves his freedom.

            11. Whether or not you agree, the fact is Oulson is dead and he could have avoided that by not throwing the pop corn and just letting it go and walk away. He died due to his actions. Yes, it is unfortunate that the decedent didn’t abide by the rules of self-defense and situational awareness and decided to continue the fight, and lose his life due to that. If he hadn’t done that, then Reeves would not have shot him.

              I’d rather be alive and not have “defended my honor” by escalating the confrontation. Oulson made the wrong choice and paid with his life. I see this incident as affirmation of the teachings of my parents, self-defense and situational awareness training – avoid confrontations when possible because you never know when it wil lead to violence, injury or death.

            12. Apparently DE you’re soon envisioning a society where armed people will be everywhere and risking making someone angry and getting shot dead will become commonplace. Hence the new form self-defense is let other people walk all over you.

            13. No, I am envisioning a civil society where people respect others, and the reality of when you confront someone in an aggressive/violent way, don’t be surprised if that person reacts violently. The news is filled with confrontations that started as *only* a verbal dispute that resulted in injury or death of one or more of the participants of said dispute.

              As I have repeatedly stated, self-defense and situational awareness training instructs that one avoids those situations, and for those exact reasons, that confrontations can turn violent with unpleasant results; therefore the best thing to do is avoid them or walk away. Next best is de-escalation, which in this story, the decedent didn’t do, and paid the ultimate price.

            14. And, who has a lifetime of training in de-escalation in confrontations ? What situational awareness skills would have changed this ? Had Oulson known that Reeves was a gun carrying deranged maniac rather than just a loudmouth old man, he might have reacted differently. Cops in uniform are obviously carrying a weapon. Cops in plain clothes and without identifying themselves are an unknown commodity. A movie theater is a low risk environment. Who would ever expect a mouthy older man at the movies with his wife to be carrying a firearm and be so quick to turn lethal ? I’d say Oulson thought he had proper situational awareness. The trained expert did not. He did not even properly assess himself.

            15. Idadho, one does not need a lifetime of self-defense and situational awareness to know not to escalate a confrontation. I remember as a kid being told by my parents not to get into fights. Reading stories like this, and self-defense and situational awareness also tells one the same thing, avoid confrontations because they can lead to violence, injury and death. That isn’t a difficult idea to comprehend.

              Who would expect a heated confrontation to turn violent? Anyone with even an ounce of sense. We read about this happening often enough.

              If Oulson had used situational awareness, he’d have known not to escalate the conflict. It would appear to me he thought he could intimidate the older man. He paid for his arrogance/stupidity with his life.

              Use this tragedy as a learning aid for the future. The life you save may be your own.

              Oulson didn’t need to know whether or not Reeves was armed or not to make the decision not to escalate the confrontation. Witnesses stated Reeves appeared agitated/enraged. So the only reason to Oulson had for escalating the confrontation wad that he thought he could intimidate or “take” the older man. That turned out to be the last stupid mistake of his life. Was it worth it?

              Is it better to be right and dead or alive and wrong? I personally would prefer to walk away and live, that is what all self-defense and situational awareness training teaches. This needless death re-enforces that.

            16. You’re just like the old man. You can’t take the truth and just SHUT UP. What was Reeves complaining about once Oulson had put his cell phone away ? Reeves kept the confrontation going after Oulson put his cell phone away. “So the only reason to Oulson had for escalating the confrontation was that he thought he could intimidate or “take” the older man.” You are taking a giant leap into that thought.
              I say, Oulson thought he could get the old man to just shut up. When it appeared he couldn’t, he threw the popcorn as a final word and backed away. Reeves pulled his gun and lurched forward across the seats. He went on the attack. He was deranged. That became obvious too late in the event.
              Accept the facts that Oulson was not the aggressor. And shut up.

            17. Idadho, Now I should “just shut-up”? Now I understand better, you like Oulson, have anger management issues, which why you believe throwing something at someone during a heated confrontation is a reasonable action and not an aggressive/violent react, which it is. The true is if Oulson walked away he’d be alive today.

              Yes, Reeves should not have shot him, but if Oulson wasn’t there, he couldn’t have. I don’t see how that concept is so difficult to understand.

              Use this event as a learning aid – avoid needless confrontations.

            18. You keep stepping right into my points. ‘Just shut up’ shows that even you have a hard time letting things go. You have conceded that Reeves should not have done what he did and was beyond any justification. But, then you say it was Oulson’s responsibility to recognize that Reeves was likely to get out of control.
              I can imagine the argument.
              Reeves, ‘You can’t use you cell phone in the theater.’
              Oulson, “I’m just checking with my baby sitter and will use my cell phone to text if I feel the need. It’s not you business.”
              Reeves, “But you can’t text here.”
              Oulson, with his cell phone in his pocket, “I’ll text my baby sitter if I need to.”
              Reeves, “No you won’t. Not on my watch.”
              Oulson, “Get out of my face and shut up and have your popcorn.”
              Reeves continued to argue the issue even when it was no longer an issue. The fact that Oulson says he will text the babysitter in the future is of no bearing on the present.
              I bet Reeves was trying to demand that Oulson submit to Reeves demand that he not respond to a text or even turn his cell phone off and Oulson refused to comply. That ticked off Reeves to become even more belligerent to which Oulson responded. As I said, Pissing contest that Reeves refused to back down from and even chose to escalate after Oulson backed away. This was classic cop behavior. Never give in.

            19. I have stated repeatedly that based on the facts as we know them that Reeves was not justified in shooting. You seem to have a disconnect with what I write and what you believe I wrote.

              The situation could not have gotten to where it did without two willing parties. We know that Reeves confronted Oulson and that Reeves shot him after Oulson threw something at him during a heated dispute. I repeatedly have stated that if Oulson hadn’t escalated the confrontation and just walked away that he’d be alive today. Yes, that is my opinion, but it is based on reason, acting as a man in civil society, secondhand experience – having seen it, and my knowledge of self-defense and situational awareness.

              It is irrelevant whether Reeves had a gun, was exhibiting “classic cop behavior”, or was just a young punk. Your beliefs on how each *should* have acted/reacted are your “preconceived opinions” on what you believe *should* have happened, not what *did* happen. You even are getting personal in your posts to me, “just SHUT UP”, is one example of your emotional outbursts.

              I have no “preconceived opinions”, unlike you, I based my comments on the known facts, not what I wish Reeves did or why you believe Oulson reacted as he did. The fact is self-defense and situational awareness work, and that Oulson chose to escalate the confrontation – a fact that is in the story – which goes against what a civil person should do, self-defense and situational instruction.

              My only speculation has been what motivated Oulson to become aggressive toward Reeves, and my opinion is based on life experience. As I have stated, that does not mean the Reeves was justified in shooting. It only gave Reeves the stimulus to shoot, which if Oulson has chosen to walk away, instead, would not have happened. I do not know what motivated either party, and according to people that know Reeves, he reacted completely opposite of how the person they know would act.

              It is irrelevant that Reeves shouldn’t have shot him – he did. We are all in agreement that it does not appear justified based on the known facts as presented in the story. According to witnesses Reeves was visibly agitated. So that means that Oulson made a conscious choice to continue knowing that Reeves was not being reasonable. That to me is stupid, and I was taught even as a young child not to get into confrontations unless absolutely necessary. A dispute over cellphone use in the theater does not rise to that level. Oulson paid with his life for being, as you believe, “justified” in his reaction to Reeves. Is it better to be “justified” and dead?

              You continue to put up “straw man” arguments as to what you believe Reeves should have done or what he and Oulson were thinking – we know what their actions were. We have no way of knowing what either were thinking at that time, and that is irrelevant. It was their actions that got Oulson killed, not their thoughts. We know that Reeves could not have shot Oulson if he wasn’t there to get shot. That has been my point all along. Oulson chose to remain, for whatever reason, “justified” or not, and continue to fight. He died for that.

              Reeves will be prosecuted for his actions. Oulson is dead because of his, and that is not a “preconceived opinion”, that is a fact.

    12. Sorry guy – you got that one all wrong. He is not old and feeble by any means. He sure had that gun cocked and ready to go in his pocket with those “feeble, arthritic” hands PRIOR to his having popcorn thrown at him. This guy wasn’t standing his ground. This guy was a bully who thought he was the phone police and used lethal force knowing he was going to make a smart ass comment and the man might get angry. He PROVOKED the confrontation. And had his gun ready. Perhaps by your peer recognition of Mr. Reeves you feel kinship, however just because someone is elderly, doesn’t give them the right to be a tyrant, a bully, or just a plain ol’ a**hole. So NO. The judges decision is correct. He’s a murderer. Period.

    13. How about everybody in this thread pull their heads out of their asses, and finally understand that this is now, I repeat now, in the hands of a jury.

      Remember the jury system you idiots?

      If you believe in the Constitution, then you believe in the jury system, leave it to them!

      1. Poor Gene. You must be from the shallow end of the gene pool. I’d put my conservative credentials up against anybody. I work with facts, not preconceived opinions like Dave. By Dave’s explanation, Reeves could not help himself because he was confronted by a younger man and had cause to be upset. Just like the snowflakes in college. They believe everybody else is the problem.

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