A gunman opened fire at a movie theatre in Lafayette, Louisiana, on Thursday evening, killing at least two person and injuring nine others before taking his own life, according to the local police chief.
The shooting took place during a 7pm CDT showing of the film “Train Wreck” in a shooting that took place almost three years to the day after a movie theatre rampage in Aurora, Colorado, police and media reported.
Clay Henry, vice president of Acadian Ambulance, said nine people were taken to three local hospitals and two others had died.
“We think the shooter is deceased, but the situation is contained here to a specific theater. No other persons who were not in that theater were injured,” Lafayette Police Chief Jim Craft told CNN.
Witness Katie Domingue told the local Advertiser newspaper that the gunman was an older white man who stood up in the theater and began shooting.
“He wasn’t saying anything. I didn’t hear anybody screaming either,” Domingue said.
Keifer Sanders told CNN that some 100 people were in the theatre when the gunman opened fire.
“Prayers for Lafayette at Grand Theater. Talking to state police colonel about shooting in Lafayette,” Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal said in a tweet.
Jindal said in a second tweet that he was traveling to Lafayette, a city of about 120,000 people roughly 55 miles (90 km) southwest of Baton Rouge.
The shooting came three years after a gunman opened fire at a movie theatre in Aurora, Colorado, during a screening of the Batman film, “The Dark Knight Rises”, killing 12 people and injuring dozens of others.
James Holmes was convicted last week on 165 counts of murder, attempted murder and explosives in the July 20, 2012, rampage.
Jurors in that case were trying to determine if Holmes should face the death penalty or life in prison. The United States has witnessed several mass shootings in the last two months.
A gunman is accused of a racially motivated shooting at a black church in South Carolina that killed nine church members in June. More recently, a gunman attacked military offices in Tennessee last week, killing five US servicemen.
In a BBC interview excerpt that aired on Thursday before the shooting, US President Barack Obama said his biggest frustration was the failure to pass “common-sense gun safety laws” in the United States.