Lafayette Shooting: Gunman ID’d As “Kind Of A Drifter”

Police say a 59-year-old white male, described as “kind of a drifter,” was the gunman who shot 11 people at a Lafayette, La., movie theater Thursday night, killing two people before turning the gun on himself.

The gunman was identified as John Russell Houser, who also went by the nickname “Rusty.” He was previously from Alabama. Lafayette Police Chief Jim Craft said Houser was staying at a local motel, where investigators found wigs, glasses and disguises.

Police are still searching or a motive for the shooting at the Grand 16 theater Thursday.

According to police, Houser was alone in the screening of the comedy “Trainwreck” when, about 20 minutes into the film, he began indiscriminately firing.

Two women were killed. Nine others were injured, including one still in critical condition.

The dead were identified as Mayci Breaux, a 21-year-old white female, who was found dead at the scene; and Jillian Johnson, a 33-33-year-old white female, who died at the hospital.

Craft said it is believed Houser had planned to make his escape after the shooting; his 1995 blue Lincoln Continental was parked near an exit door. However, after blending into the crowd, the arrival of police prompted him to return into the theater, where he died from a self-inflicted wound.

“The quick law enforcement response forced him back into the theater, at which point he shot himself,” said Craft.

Police recovered a .40 caliber handgun at the scene; at least 13 bullets had been discharged in all. No other weapons or devices were found in his car or motel room.

Craft said there were no indications that Houser had any accomplices.

Investigators are asking the public for any information they may have about Houser, and have set up a special 24-hour hot line to call: (337) 291 8650.

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