Monday, May 21, 2018
Public safety

Widow in movie theater shooting appears on 'The View'

Nicole Oulson said Thursday she doesn't buy Curtis Reeves' statements of disbelief and regret moments after firing a shot that killed her husband in a movie theater during an argument over texting.

"He got caught," Oulson, 33, told Whoopi Goldberg and the other hosts of the ABC talk show The View.

Oulson, who appeared with her attorney, TJ Grimaldi, said she thinks the shooting occurred because the retired Tampa police captain "felt disrespected" when Chad Oulson refused to stop using his cellphone during previews for a matinee of Lone Survivor. "He's been an authority figure all his life. He's used to telling people what to do, and they say 'how high' when he says 'jump.' He no longer has that control."

Oulson, who cried during parts of Reeves' bail hearing in Dade City on Wednesday, appeared very much in control of her emotions when she visited the show a day later.

She contradicted some witnesses in the theater who testified that her husband, a 43-year-old financial manager from Land O'Lakes, threw popcorn at Reeves. Authorities say Reeves then took a .380 semiautomatic from his pocket and fired at Chad Oulson inside the Grove Cobb 16 theater on Jan. 13.

"I honestly can't say I saw popcorn being thrown," she said. "Here is what I can say … is that there was a conversation, the gentleman had confronted my husband several times, which my husband ignored and ignored and ignored, and it got to a point where my husband spoke up, and that's when (Reeves) shot him."

Alan Hamilton, an off-duty Sumter County sheriff's corporal who took Reeves' gun and kept him in his seat until Pasco deputies arrived, testified at Wednesday's bail hearing that as Oulson lay bleeding, Reeves leaned back and said "Holy f---, what have I done?"

Oulson said the couple's nearly 2-year-old daughter, Alexis, had recently been teething. They chose the theater for their date because it was close to home and the girl might run a fever and need to be picked up from day care.

Reeves, who was charged with second-degree murder and aggravated battery with a firearm, remains at the Pasco County jail. His attorneys say he was hit with popcorn and an "unknown dark object" and acted in self-defense. His bail hearing continues today. Prosecutors plan to play a security video that they say shows the shooting.

If Circuit Judge Pat Siracusa decides to set bail, and if Reeves' family can come up with the money, he could walk out of jail tonight.

Doug Tobin, spokesman for the Pasco County Sheriff's Office, said that once jail officials receive his paperwork from court and he posts bail, Reeves would go to the back of the line of inmates being released — normally about 50 a day.

The release process normally takes between four and eight hours, Tobin said.

Times staff writer Alex Orlando contributed to this report.

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