Anyone who visits a public establishment has the right to expect that his or her outing will be safe. Sadly, that isn’t always the case. Some establishments don’t have adequate security measures in place to keep patrons safe. Other establishments have security measures in place, but incidents still occur that threaten the safety of patrons. For one Florida couple, a trip to the movie theater turned into a tragedy when the man was killed by another moviegoer.
The incident occurred at Grove 16 when a man was texting during the previews prior to the movie ‘Lone Survivor.’ A 71-year-old man who sitting behind the victim reportedly got upset by the texting, and an argument began. He left the auditorium to complain to a manager, but the manager was speaking to another patron. Upon returning to his seat, the victim, who was texting his child’s babysitter, asked the elderly man if he went “to tell on him for texting.” More arguing led to the victim throwing popcorn at the elderly man. The elderly man then allegedly shot the victim with a .380 semi-automatic handgun.
The elderly man, who is a former police officer, was arrested and charged with second-degree murder.
This may not have been the first time the former police officer got upset about texting at the movies. Another couple came forward claiming the man got upset during a different movie and that he appeared to get bothered about everything. The female said she made a point to remember his face in case she had to make a report about the incident to management. She alleged that the man kept glaring at them throughout the movie.
The Grove 16 did have a sign on the door that stated a zero weapons policy; however, the question of whether or not the establishment provided adequate security for the moviegoers remains unanswered. If you have been injured in an incident caused by inadequate security or lost a loved one in a similar incident, you might have the legal right to seek compensation for your economic and non-economic losses.
Source: CNN.com, “Florida theater shooting: Couple describes encounter with Curtis Reeves” Steve Almasy and Ed Payne, Jan. 15, 2014