No 'satisfying' explanation for Louisiana movie theater shooting says Governor

Louisiana governor Bobby Jindal speaking to reporters near the theater where a gunman opened fire on movie-goers.
Louisiana governor Bobby Jindal speaking to reporters near the theater where a gunman opened fire on movie-goers.PHOTO: AFP

LOS ANGELES (REUTERS, AFP) – There was no known motive for why a suspected gunman opened fire in a Louisiana movie theater, the state’s governor Bobby Jindal told CNN on Friday (July 24), adding that the police have finished processing the gunman's hotel room and car and spoken with his relatives. 

“There’s never a good explanation for why these things happen, these senseless acts of violence,” he said. 

“I think in this particular case the explanation will be even less satisfying than in other cases based on what they’ve learned by just talking to family members and processing the hotel room and the car.” 

The gunman has been identified as 59-year-old John Russell Houser. 

Jindal added the gunman did not appear to go to the movie theatre to target specific people. 


Meanwhile, the police said the gunman was “kind of a drifter” who had planned to escape after the killings but shot himself dead as police closed in.  

Police chief Jim Craft of Lafayette said the gunman fired at least 13 rounds from a handgun, killing two people and wounding nine.  

“It is apparent that he was intent on shooting and then escaping,” Craft told a news conference after Wednesday night’s shooting at a showing of Hollywood comedy “Trainwreck.” 

“What happened is that the quick law enforcement response forced him back into the theater, at which time he shot himself.” 

Craft said Houser was originally from Alabama and had been staying a local motel, in which officers found a collection of glasses and wigs, and had switched the license plate on his car. 

The officer identified the deceased as two white women aged 21 and 33. 

Of the nine victims taken to hospital, two have been released but one remains in critical condition.  

Craft appealed for anyone who knew the shooter, thought to have been in Lafayette since early this month, to come forward “because at this point we have very little information about him.”