LAFAYETTE, La. — Louisiana authorities say the Alabama man who killed two people and wounded nine others at a movie theater in Lafayette last night had visited the theater previously.
They believe John Russell Houser was scoping out the theater to determine if it was a "soft target."
It's been determined that the attack was methodical. Investigators say wigs and disguises were found in the nearby motel room where Houser had been staying.
The semi-automatic handgun Houser used was purchased legally at a pawnshop in Alabama. Witnesses say he stood without saying a word and opened fire in the darkened theater. Two people died and nine were wounded.
Police say he planned to escape in his car, which had a license plate that had been switched. But he encountered responding officers, re-entered the theater and took his own life.
His background has turned up episodes of mental illness, violence, rants against the government and an interest in hate groups