Police and media report that two people were shot late Sunday when a gunman opened fire in a movie theater in San Antonio, Texas, sending panicked moviegoers rushing to exits and ducking for cover. It is also causing frazzled nerves of citizens nationwide who have yet to come to grips with the unimaginable shooting tragedy perpetrated at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., and the theater shooting deaths in suburban Denver.
A lone suspect was taken into custody after being wounded by an unidentified law enforcement officer, a Bexar County Sheriff’s Office spokesman told the San Antonio Express-News. The shooter’s identity has yet to be released by police officials.
Thankfully, no one was killed. However, the conditions of the two people wounded were not immediately released, nor was it disclosed where they were when they were wounded, or the type of gun that was used.
Witnesses told police and the media that numerous shots were fired inside and outside the Santikos Mayan Palace theater complex on Southwest Military Drive around 9:25 p.m., setting off the scramble to safety before police and EMS arrived. The complex was evacuated and sealed off for several hours.
A spokesperson for the Bexar County Sheriff’s Office, said the shooting began at a nearby China Garden and “carried on into the theater.”
At one point, the suspect was even aiming at at SAPD patrol car, Antu said.
“He was shooting at a marked unit,” Antu said. “He knows he was shooting at an officer, so that’s [an] automatic [charge of] attempted capital murder.”
Once the suspect reached the theater, an off-duty Bexar County Sheriff’s officer who was working at the theater shot at him and possibly struck him, Antu said.
“She took all appropriate action to keep everyone safe in the movie theater,” Antu told the Express-News.
One witness, Tara Grace, was in line to get drinks when she heard the firecracker-like sounds ring out and instinctively ran into the bathroom and locked herself in a stall with five other moviegoers.
“We thought we were going to die,” she said.
A person at the scene, an employee from a different location of the restaurant, said the gunman initially may have targeted a co-worker before making his way to the theater, though Antu could not confirm a motive immediately.
The shooting immediately sparked fears of the bloodbath in July that killed 12 people and injured 58 at a movie theater in Aurora, Colo.
Cassandra Castillo, whose son is a projectionist at the theater, was frantic as she waited outside the theater for her son.
“It brings back memories of the other theater shooting, and the elementary school shooting,” she said. “You only think the worst.”