SAN DIEGO (AP) — Moviegoers at a San Diego theater ducked for cover as officers stormed in during a film screening and shot and critically wounded a gunman hiding in their midst.
No one else was hurt in the shooting Saturday inside Reading Cinemas Carmel Mountain in northern San Diego, officer David Stafford said.
The gunman, identified as 20-year-old Tom Billodeaux of Escondido, was taken to a hospital after being shot in the arm and chest, police said.
Billodeaux became the target of an intense police search after witnesses reported seeing him get into a fight with his girlfriend across the street from a shopping plaza where the Cineplex is located, Lt. Ernie Herbert said.
Witnesses tried to intervene, but he threatened them with a gun and ran to the shopping plaza.
The owner of a business next to the Cineplex said police shut down the shopping center’s parking lot and stopped every car to look for the man. Officers with dogs checked each store, while a police helicopter hovered above.
“There were 20 police cars blocking the entrance, then the fire truck and the ambulance rushed in,” Steve Krongard, the owner of the Nickel City arcade, said. “Then we saw seven cops with what looked like rifles, then paramedics went into the theater.”
Herbert said police turned their attention to the Cineplex after learning that an armed man had ducked into the Cineplex.
Capt. Terry McManus told U-T San Diego that police searched theater by theater and evacuated moviegoers until two officers spotted him in a theater with about 15 others.
McManus said the man initially complied with officers’ order to put his hands up, but then he put them back in his lap and brandished a handgun. He said one of the officers opened fire.
The officers thought their lives were threatened, he said, “and more importantly, they thought the lives of others were in jeopardy.”
The theater’s manager told Krongard the shooting occurred during a screening of “Les Miserables.”
A moviegoer told KGTV the lights suddenly went on during the film and two officers came into the theater with their guns. Another witness told the station that everyone got on the floor and started heading for the exit doors.
McManus said the gunman never made any threats to others in the theater. He said the man had left a suicide note at his Escondido home before going to his girlfriend’s workplace to confront her.
It was the second shooting at a San Diego County movie theater in as many days.
A concession worker suffered an arm injury when a shot fired outside a San Marcos movie theater went through the lobby window and struck her, sheriff’s officials said.
The shooting occurred during a fight in the parking lot at Edwards San Marcos Stadium 18 and triggered a large police response because authorities were initially not sure whether there was a shooter inside the Cineplex.
No arrests have been reported after the San Marcos shooting.
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This Week’s Celebrity Instagrams (11/26-12/2)
30 photos Launch gallery
1. Little Legend and Puddy 😍😍😍😍
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2. "You on point Phife?" "all the time,Tip". 💥 #bannedfromnormal
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3. Vegan! The Impossible burger at Crossroads
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4. Lawrence #BeforeandAfterEpisodes 1-4: 184lbs 13% body fatEpisode 8: 196lbs 8% body fat S/O @coachdaveboxing with the works outs and @kildareriordan with the nutrition
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5. Jus haaaanngin out
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6. Meanwhile back at home in Atlanta GA someone mad they not on the 🛳. 😳
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7. No limits... Photo cred: Chris Bridges @ludacris
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8. new new
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9. Apparently my 260lbs is too much for the actual vines in the Hawaiian jungles to hold me without breaking and me falling hundreds of feet. So for safety purposes, I'm forced to swing thru #Jumanjj on wires strong enough to hold 12 adult buffaloes and 1 adult Rock. #OnSet #Jumanji #IronicallyIEatBuffaloDailyForLunch #MoreManThanNatureKnowsWhatToDoWith
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10. hey ma! 🎎#wcw 💙
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11. Surprise visit to our factories!!! #GoodAmerican #USA
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13. Peachy Keen 🔥✨⚡️
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14. If this don't look thankful I don't know what does. Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours. #UltraBlessed #24kMagic #SweetPotatoFly
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15. Late nights @nbcmarlon with the writers... we in here!!!
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16. There goes my baaaaaaaaabbbbyyyyy #QueenKingMagic!!! We're up to something! Ira BIG!!! Stay out our buisness -
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17. You want to win every game you play but when you come home to these faces... who cares. #ILoveYouGirls best part of my day, everyday!
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18. Steady,steady..... full size jenga.. "I got this one "???? Or do I ?
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19. Cornrows kind of day 😉@dontaysavoy2 you convinced me and I love. ❤️️
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20. #BrotherlyLove #tbt
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22. #basel #TeamLOVE @kingcombs
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23. Just introduced a special screening of @directher 's groundbreaking (must see) documentary @13thfilm with my brother @themichaelealy | @unitedblackout #blackoutblackfriday
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24. Me & Vanessa Williams giving #DuckLips #Pose on the set of #DaytimeDivas @vh1 - Coming Soon to a tv near you. Lol. - My make up done by @makeupsurgeon
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25. This picture just makes me wanna praise the Lord, you hear me!!!!!! Yes Lord brotha #TEDDYCAMPBELL What a #man !!! You are everything right on this picture husband ......... #gorgeous #stylish #classy #strong #masculine #king #sexy #debonair #gentlemenstyle And that #bible in your hand just seals the deal for me (probably cause i know that, that is what helped you become just as amazing as you look😘). While my heart and mind experiences the goodness of God at #church on Sundays, my eyes experiences the goodness of Teddy😍. Amen somebody🙌🏽. "Bless the Lord oh my soul and all that is within me bless his holy name" #myman #myhusband #goodman #blackman #dapperman #godlyman #goodfather #mybestfriend
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26. Yesterday was my mama's 53rd birthday!!!!! Got to celebrate with her all day. If this is what I have to look forward to I can't wait. Looking like a soft bucket a cocoa butter. Yaaaaaaaaaas! 😍😍😍 love you mommy!
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27. "Shout out to @PureAtlanta for getting the family right"....I'm loving this jogger. 😍😍
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28. This pic warms my heart ❤️ #myLogiebeans and aunt aunt umba @itowandabraxton 😘
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29. You will always be my baby😜. #HappyBirthdayReginae #mybaby18
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30. GC "Gods Child" Red on Red SweatSuit available now at www.MonicaApparel.com ... Take Your Crown wherever you go!! I'm pictured in a Medium... Go to the site now for other options ... cc: @trukernell
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