A Sumter County deputy revealed in court Wednesday what he saw and heard inside a movie theater where one man shot and killed another last month.
Deputy Allen Hamilton was off-duty inside the Wesley Chapel theater on January 13, and says he heard Curtis Reeves shoot Chad Oulson.
Hamilton said he was about five or six seats away from the Reeves in the same row, and the Oulsons were in front of the Reeves. He said during the previews, two people exchanging words got his attention.
"I could hear someone's raised voice," Hamilton described.
Hamilton said the raised voice was Chad Oulson's, but he could not make out what he was saying. He said the conversation was not heated enough for him, as a law enforcement officer, to be alarmed.
But when a defense attorney cross-examined him, Hamilton said he saw Oulson leaning over the back of his seat, yelling and cursing at Reeves, "I am trying to text my f***ing daughter, if you don't mind."
Hamilton said he leaned up in his seat to see what was happening, trying to evaluate the situation.
He said he couldn't tell if Oulson threw popcorn at Reeves, as has been widely reported, or if Oulson moved his hand, and popcorn flew as a result.
"I saw Mr. Oulson, it was like a flick of popcorn, just some kernels of popcorn and a bag go, and then it was just almost instantaneously from there, I seen a muzzle blast and obviously, the loud bang," Hamilton said.
Hamilton said he found Reeves sitting in his chair, and the gun was on his left knee. He said he identified himself, grabbed the gun, and said it felt warm.
Hamilton says Reeves said a couple of different things at that point. According to Hamilton, Reeves said he needed to leave, he needed to get up, and he wanted to get his cell phone. Hamilton said he prevented Reeves from doing so.
"He (Reeves) pushed his glasses back and said ‘I can't believe what I've done.' "
Reeves said he had an injury to his eye. In the meantime, Hamilton said he could hear a gurgling sound coming from Oulson, and made a remark to the effect of "that's not good."
Reeves responded by saying "Holy f*** what have I done?'" Hamilton testified.
Then Hamilton says he heard some remarks back and forth between Reeves and his wife.
"He leaned toward his wife and made a comment, and she postured and said 'that was no cause to shoot anyone.' And then he leaned back around, stuck his finger out, as to scold her, and said 'you shut your f***in mouth and don't say another word.' Mrs. Reeves gets up and goes down one chair and again postures, and the look on her face, she was P.O.ed at him, she was mad at that point."
The defense attorney, though, pointed out that Hamilton did not write those comments in his statement about what happened, and asked if he told detectives about the statements afterward. Hamilton said he didn't recall whether he did or not.
Hamilton ended his testimony by saying law enforcement arrived, handcuffed Reeves, and led him out of the theater.
The bond hearing continues Friday morning at 10 a.m.
FOX 13 / WTVT-TV
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