Police identified the man responsible for killing at least three people in a Lafayette movie theater Thursday night as 59-year-old John Russell Houser, a “kind of drifter” who had been living in a nearby motel.
Houser apparently walked into the movie theater around 7:30 p.m. and fired at least thirteen shots with a 40-caliber handgun, killing two people—Macy Breaux, 21, and Jillian Johnson, 33—and injuring “numerous victims.”
He later turned the gun on himself and was pronounced dead at a local hospital.
Evidence suggests Houser originally planned to escape after the massacre: he’d switched the license tags on his 1995 Lincoln Continental and officers found “wigs, glasses and disguises” in his room.
“It was apparent that he was intent on shooting and then escaping,” Lafayette police chief Jim Craft said during a press conference Friday. His plan was foiled when responding officers “forced him back into the theater.”
Cops say they know he moved to Lafeyette from Alabama in early June. But Craft says officers “have very little information about Houser” and are still working to determine his motive. He did appear to be a member of the Tea Party—a profile registered in 2013 matches his biographical details.