Thursday, June 21, 2018
Public safety

Widow of man killed in movie theater talks to 'Good Morning America'

The widow of a man killed last week in a Wesley Chapel movie theater shooting said Thursday on national TV that she hopes the retired Tampa police captain accused of her husband's murder gets life in prison.

Justice for Curtis Reeves Jr. is "to stay behind bars for the rest of his life," Nicole Oulson told Robin Roberts during an interview on ABC's Good Morning America. "He brought an unfair life sentence to me to have to raise my daughter alone, to have to live without the love of my life, for my daughter to grow up without her daddy by her side for graduation and marriage.

"It was so unnecessary and for no reason. I want him behind bars and to be punished for his senseless act."

Oulson, 33, who broke down in tears during a news conference Wednesday in her attorney's Tampa law office, remained composed and even joked a little during her interview with Roberts. Sitting beside her was her attorney, TJ Grimaldi.

She said she and her husband, who worked as the finance manager at Sky Powersports in New Port Richey, got a rare day off together and both wanted to see a matinee of Lone Survivor.

"Usually I'm dragging him to a chick flick," she said.

The pair, who arrived early at the Cobb Grove 16, wanted to check on their 22-month-old daughter, who was with a caregiver. So Chad Oulson, 43, checked his phone for messages during the previews.

Nicole Oulson said she and Chad always observed movie theater etiquette.

"We're both very respectful when the movie is on, that we put our phones away. So he took a couple of seconds just to check the phone to make sure there were no messages about our daughter," Oulson said.

She estimated the whole encounter with Reeves, who authorities say pulled a gun from his pocket and fired once, lasted 30 seconds.

"In the blink of an eye, my world was shattered," said Nicole Oulson, whose finger was injured when she put her left hand in front of her husband.

Reeves' attorneys have said their client felt threatened and that Oulson threw "an unknown object, dark in color" at Reeves. Witnesses told authorities that Oulson threw popcorn at Reeves.

Grimaldi, who was guarded in his remarks due to the ongoing investigation, said that's irrelevant.

"It doesn't matter if it was popcorn, if it was Twizzlers, if it was a hot cup of coffee," he said. "There is absolutely no reason that this should have escalated to the level that it did, especially as quickly as it did."

Nicole Oulson said her husband gave Reeves no reason to feel threatened.

"It was a couple of words," she said. "No threats. Nothing."

Grimaldi said Reeves, who also worked as a security director for Busch Gardens, should have known how to keep conflicts from escalating.

Instead, Grimaldi said, "he was the aggressor and he took it to another level."

Nicole Oulson said her finger was healing, but "it's the pain in my heart that's going to take a long time, if ever, to get over."

She described Chad Oulson as "outgoing" and "friendly," the kind of guy who would leave to get takeout food and become friends for life with someone he spent just a few minutes chatting with.

She said her daughter, Alexis, is doing all right, thanks to her young age. But she will miss the nightly ritual of her father tucking her in.

"He would say, 'You make me so happy. Daddy so happy,' Lexy would say. 'Me happy too, Daddy. Lexy happy, too.' "

She thanked everyone who had donated to the trust fund set up for the family.

"It's been amazing, truly amazing. It's unbelievable."

Comments
Suspect arrested in rapper XXXTentacion’s shooting death

Suspect arrested in rapper XXXTentacion’s shooting death

FORT LAUDERDALE — Authorities in Florida have arrested a suspect in the killing of rising rap star XXXTentacion, who was fatally shot in his luxury BMW electric car as he left an upscale motorcycle dealership.Dedrick Devonshay Williams, 22, of Pompan...
Updated: 20 minutes ago
Pasco deputies safely locate missing Holiday autistic teen

Pasco deputies safely locate missing Holiday autistic teen

An autistic boy, who went missing after walking out of his Holiday home on Wednesday night, has been safely located.Jordan Webb, 16, left his home around 11 p.m., according to the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office.He was safely located on Thursday mornin...
Updated: 22 minutes ago
Investigation finds three St. Petersburg police lieutenants lied about work records

Investigation finds three St. Petersburg police lieutenants lied about work records

ST. PETERSBURG — Three police lieutenants falsified records about where they were during work hours, according to the St. Petersburg Police Department — a severe violation of ethics for three leaders on the agency’s day shift.The lieutenants claimed ...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Brandon man held on $750,000 bail, accused of 100 counts of child pornography

Brandon man held on $750,000 bail, accused of 100 counts of child pornography

A Brandon man has been charged with 100 counts of possession of child pornography after deputies discovered more than 100 images of child pornography on his computer, according to the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office.Troi Amacher, 29, was arreste...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Police: Couple leased someone else’s home to 15 families at same time

Police: Couple leased someone else’s home to 15 families at same time

LARGO — Vanessa Rodriguez thought she found the right house for her three kids, in the right neighborhood, for the right rent. She signed the lease for April 30, sent a $2,300 money order and planned to move in June 1.Then the delays started. She sai...
Updated: 5 hours ago
15 arrested in Hillsborough construction fraud sting, one for the eighth time

15 arrested in Hillsborough construction fraud sting, one for the eighth time

TAMPA — The contractors arriving at the Brandon home thought they were meeting with a potential customer. They were wrong.In fact, the would-be clients were undercover detectives and the contractors, lacking a license to ply their trade, left the hom...
Published: 06/20/18
St. Pete police investigating social media threat against Pride event

St. Pete police investigating social media threat against Pride event

ST. PETERSBURG — Police are investigating a threat against St. Pete Pride weekend based on a social media comment left on a Tampa Bay Times story.A Facebook commenter used an alias to post the threat on a story about a pop-up gay club planned for the...
Published: 06/20/18
Driver in fatal Tampa hit-and-run turns himself in

Driver in fatal Tampa hit-and-run turns himself in

TAMPA — The driver who was sought in a fatal hit-and-run on Sunday night has turned himself in.Police say Roger Herelle, 33, told detectives Wednesday he was involved in the crash that killed Sally Ann McClellan Webb, 58.Police had had been seeking t...
Published: 06/20/18
Five guns taken in 30 reported break-ins of unlocked cars in Clearwater

Five guns taken in 30 reported break-ins of unlocked cars in Clearwater

CLEARWATER — Thieves have made off with at least five guns after breaking into unlocked vehicles in recent days, police said Wednesday morning.Over the past three days, a group of people have been breaking into unlocked vehicles across the city. Clea...
Published: 06/20/18
Police investigating body found floating near Davis Islands

Police investigating body found floating near Davis Islands

TAMPA — Police are working to recover a body that was found floating in the water near the Davis Island Sea Basin on Wednesday morning.It is uncertain how the body ended up there, according to police.This is a developing story. Stay with tampabay.com...
Published: 06/20/18