Wife of theater shooting victim mourns husband
TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — The wife of a man who was shot and killed during an argument over texting at a movie theater said Wednesday that her "whole world just got shattered in a million pieces."
Nicole Oulson cried during a news conference at her attorney's office in Tampa. She spoke briefly, thanking the community for its support. She added that her focus now is on the couple's 22-month-old daughter.
"It's so hard and unbearable," she said.
Oulson and her husband, Chad Oulson, were in a movie theater Jan. 13 when he was shot during an argument with another man. Curtis Reeves, a 71-year-old retired police officer, is charged with the second-degree murder and is being held without bail. A hearing to determine whether he should be released on bail will be held in Pasco County on Feb. 5.
Friends of the couple say Chad Oulson was texting their daughter's baby sitter when the fight erupted during movie previews.
Nicole Oulson said Wednesday that she and her husband rarely had a day off to spend together.
"I was just so excited and looking forward to spending the day with the love of my life," she said.
Oulson was also shot in the hand and said she is still trying to recover. During the news conference, her left hand and arm were covered in a cast.
Her attorney, TJ Grimaldi, said that Oulson has an "unfortunately clear recollection of what happened that day" and that the couple's child is so young she knows only that "Daddy's gone."
Grimaldi said that he is exploring options for a civil lawsuit and that his firm's priority is to help Oulson through her grief and Reeves' criminal trial.
According to a sheriff's office report, Reeves became upset when Oulson was texting and spoke to Oulson during the previews. Officials said Reeves got up and informed management. When Reeves returned to his seat, "additional words were exchanged" and Oulson threw a bag of popcorn at Reeves, the report said.
Reeves told investigators that Oulson struck him in the face with an unknown object, and that's when he removed a gun from his pants pocket. The report said that he fired the gun, striking Oulson once in the chest, and that Reeves "was in fear of being attacked."
Reeves' attorneys said during an initial court appearance that he "had every right to defend himself" and that he should be released on bail due to his deep ties to the community and his years as a Tampa police officer.
Grimaldi said that during next week's bail hearing for Reeves, he will object to his release.
"Everyone with a cellphone is at risk," Grimaldi said.
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