Documents released today by Florida prosecutors revealed that Curtis Reeves, the former police officer accused of killing a man over a movie theater texting dispute, used his own phone to text just moments before the fatal shooting. The text was sent to his son per Fox News.
The documents show that Matthew Reeves admitted to detectives that his father, Curtis Reeves, sent him a text at 1:04 p.m. on January 13. letting him know he was already seated in the movie theater. Matthew Reeves, a Tampa police officer, was heading over to the theater to meet his parents as they planned to catch the 1:20 showing of “Lone Survivor”, but Matthew was delayed as he stopped to wash his truck.
According to Mathew Reeves account, when he got to the movie theater it was dark and the previews were showing. He began to look around for his parents and that is when Chad Oulson, 43, was shot investigators said.
Pasco County Sheriff’s detective Aaron Smith wrote: “Matthew said he did not see the shot directly, but the noise and light drew his attention to the top row of seats.”
The charges against 71-year-old Curtis Reeves include second-degree murder and as well as aggravated battery. The battery charge stems from the fact that Oulson’s wife, Nicole Oulson, was also injured as she tried to shield her husband. Her injury was not life threatening as the bullet that struck her husband hit her in the finger.
A mandatory minimum sentence of 25 years in prison will be imposed on Curtis Reeves should he be found guilty. He has pleaded not guilty on both counts.
Reeves is currently being held at the Pasco County Jail without bail. According to his attorneys, Reeves acted in self defense. He claimed to police that Oulson struck him in the face, possibly with his cell device. However, witnesses to the shooting, including Reeves’ wife, say they never saw Oulson hit Reeves.
A portion of the documents recently made public reveal some personal history on Curtis Reeves detailing his decades spent as a Tampa police officer. They state that Reeves received impressive evaluations and countless letters of recommendation for his leadership skills and for training he led on gun safety and other topics. He retired from the department in 1993.
Also made public was a file containing an interview with Jamira Dixon, 35 who stated that back in December, while at the very same movie theater, she had an encounter with Reeves over her texting. He became agitated with her and spoke to the theater management. Afterwards Curtis Reeves proceeded to stare at her throughout the movie, making her feel very uncomfortable.
Witness accounts were also made available through the released documents. Many of them reporting the extreme chaos and confusion in the theater when Oulson was shot.
One of those witnesses, Edward McFadden, 76, reportedly told Pasco County Sheriff’s detective Matthew Myers that as he was sitting in the theater, he heard a loud noise behind him.
“He told me it sounded like a gunshot, but he wasn’t sure if it was real or from the previews because they had just shown a preview for ‘Robocop,’ which had a lot of gunshots in it.”