911 calls show harrowing scene after lone gunman's deadly rampage inside movie theater

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Several 911 callers describe a harrowing scene at a Louisiana movie theater after a man opened fire during a screening of "Trainwreck," with one pleading for a dispatcher to send more ambulances, according to audio released Thursday.

Authorities released a batch of taped emergency calls in response to public records requests by The Associated Press and other news outlets.

In one 911 call, a man breathing heavily said he heard six or seven shots from a man who "shot right at people." In another, a man pleads for the dispatcher to send more ambulances. A woman in another call says she saw a girl who got shot walking out of the theater as she was walking in.

The gunman, 59-year-old John Russell Houser, shot and killed two people and wounded nine others inside The Grand 16 theater in Lafayette on the night of July 23. Police said he fatally shot himself after encountering the first officers to respond.

Lafayette city officials also released brief snippets of surveillance video that shows Houser purchase a ticket at the theater and walk through the lobby and down a hallway toward the auditorium where the shooting occurred.

Investigators found wigs and disguises in Houser's Lafayette motel room, suggesting he hoped to escape after the shooting. They said he tried to blend in with the crowd of fleeing people but turned back after spotting officers entering the theater. He shot himself inside the same auditorium where the shooting began around 7:30 p.m., a Lafayette police spokesman said.

The police spokesman said investigators also recovered a "journal type book" from the Motel 6 room where Houser had been staying since early July. Authorities haven't disclosed any details about the journal's contents.

In 2008, a Georgia judge ordered Houser detained for a mental evaluation after relatives claimed he was a danger to himself and others. But the judge says she didn't have him involuntarily committed, which could explain how he passed a federal background check last year that enabled him to buy the .40-caliber handgun.

Funeral services were held Monday for 33-year-old Jillian Johnson and 21-year-old Mayci Breaux, the two women killed by Houser. Johnson was an artist, musician and entrepreneur. Breaux was a college student studying to be a radiology technician.


Associated Press writers Rebecca Santana and Kevin McGill in New Orleans contributed to this report.