Seating dispute leads to gunfire inside NC movie theater, police say
GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT/AP) – Greenville Police are still searching for the man they say opened fire inside a movie theater in Greenville.
Greenville Police Chief Mark Holtzman said they received reports of an active shooter at the AMC Theater on Firetower Road around 11:45 p.m. Friday. Within minutes, officers arrived and entered the theater.
Holtzman said a dispute over seating arrangements appears to have triggered the shooting.
“That dispute quickly turned into a pistol being pulled out and at least one shot being fired off into the ceiling,” Holtzman said.
The shooting took place in theater two. Ryan Query and his wife were just four theaters down at the time watching Black Panther.
He said armed officers entered the theater and informed them they needed to evacuate.
“About every five steps there was an officer with an assault rifle and fully armored,” Query said.
Given the recent mass shootings across the country, Query said he was concerned for his safety and that of others.
“What do I need to do to protect my wife? What do we need to do to get out of here safely,” he said.
Holtzman told a news conference that officers had detained three people for questioning but determined they were all victims in the incident and were later released.
The focus now is on surveillance video from the theater to help police in their investigation.
Greenville Mayor PJ Connelly said he was pleased at how well local law enforcement handled the situation. He also said he was proud of the fact the city acted when Greenville Police Chief Mark Holtzman informed them of new protective gear needed a year ago.
“One of the things he brought to us about a year ago was to make sure we had the proper equipment for this type of incident,” he said.
Greenville Police are still searching for a man wearing a striped blue and white shirt and hat. They are also asking anyone that was inside theater two last night to call them at 252-329-4150.
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