Fla. Theater Suspect Had Commendable Police Career; Not First Theater Run-In

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Reeves’ attorney, Richard Escobar, argued that his client should be released because of his ties to the community.

Escobar said the probable cause document was “quite weak” and that Reeves was defending himself.

“The alleged victim attacked him,” Escobar said, adding that Oulson threw something, possibly popcorn, at Reeves. “At that point in time he has every right to defend himself.”

The judge said that throwing “an unknown object does not equal taking out a gun” and shooting someone.

Escobar said Reeves has lived in the Tampa Bay area almost his entire life. Reeves has two grown children.

Reeves’ application to join the Tampa Police Department shows that he served in the U.S. Navy from 1961 to 1963 as a machinists’ mate on a submarine. After an honorable discharge, he worked as a truck driver and as a warehouse worker.

Neighbors said Reeves and his wife moved to a rural subdivision in Hernando County about 10 years ago.

Everyone in the neighborhood knew Reeves was a retired police officer, said D’Andrea, the neighbor.

“He was a stand-up guy in the neighborhood,” D’Andrea said.

Reeves and his wife were friendly with the neighbors, often attending house parties, said D’Andrea. The couple also owned a motorcycle and enjoyed taking long rides.

Reeves was instrumental in establishing the Tampa Police Department’s first tactical response team, that agency’s spokeswoman said. He retired in 1993 and later worked security at the Busch Gardens theme park. He also served on the Crimestoppers board of Hernando County.

Devon Detrapani and her husband, Joseph, were friends with the Oulsons and the men worked together at Sky Powersports, a motorcycle and off-road vehicle dealer.

Chad Oulson was the company’s finance manager and a hard worker, Detrapani said. He rode dirt bikes on the weekend, but his true love was his baby daughter, Lexi.

“They are awesome parents,” said Devon Detrapani. “They love that little girl so much.”

Detrapani said Oulson was texting with his daughter’s daycare on the afternoon he was shot. She said Oulson was a kind man with no anger issues.

“He is a very nice guy,” she said. “He would give the shirt off his back to help someone.”

Reportedly, Reeves also had a run-in with another person in the theater three weeks prior to the shooting. The woman claims Reeves asked her to stop texting and followed her to the bathroom.

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