At 7:30 PM on Thursday, July 23, 2015, a call was received by the police in Lafayette of a shooting in progress at the Grand Theater. The response was virtually immediate. Two police officers were on the property when the incident occurred.
The two officers were able to make entry into the theater. They were met by people coming out of the theater. The officers heard a shot as they were entering the building.
The suspect was found deceased from a self-inflicted gunshot would.
Numerous victims were located as well as a deceased female. First aid was immediately given. Arcadian ambulance responded quickly. Twelve ambulances were on the scene within six minutes. Victims were cared for and transported to local hospitals.
John Russell Houser was the shooter. He is a white male, 59 years old. He previously lived in Alabama. He was staying in a motel on University Avenue in Lafayette. A search warrant was served at 4:30 AM on Friday morning.
Houser was driving a 1995 blue Lincoln Continental. Wigs, glasses and disguises were found in his room. His vehicle license tag had been switched. The vehicle was parked immediately outside of an exit door at the Grand Theater.
The shooters plan was to shoot and then escape. The rapid law enforcement response forced Houser back into the theater. The shooter then shot himself.
No devices were found in Houser’s vehicle or in the theater. Apparently, one .40 caliber handgun was used. At least 13 rounds were fired during the discharging of the weapon in the theater.
Victims of Shooting
Mayci Breaux, a white female, 21 years of age, died at the scene. Jillian Johnson, a white female, 33 years of age, died at the hospital.
A total of nine other victims were hospitalized. Two had been released as of Thursday morning. One remained in critical condition. The quick law enforcement response is believed to have prevented further deaths according to Jim Craft, a 39-year veteran of the Lafayette Police Department.
The Grand Theater remains closed while the police continues investigation work at the scene.
Written by Kevin Woolsey