It is unlikely that Curtis Reeves, the retired police officer accused of killing Chad Oulson and wounding his wife, Nicole, this week at a movie theater in Wesley Chapel, Florida will use a “Stand Your Ground” defense. But that doesn’t mean he isn’t a victim.
Reeves told police he feared the man was going to attack him, says CNN. The dead man was the “aggressor” and Reeves was in fear of his life agreed Reeves’ lawyer, Richard Escobar during Reeve’s first court appearance this week. Oulson reportedly threw popcorn at Reeves.
Like most previously “law-abiding” citizens who become Angry While Armed (AWA) Reeves was a great guy–until he wasn’t. “He’s just not that kind of person,” Elnora Brown, a family friend, told a CNN affiliate, describing Reeves as a good Christian and loving grandfather. “I can’t imagine what happened that he would do that.”
A neighbor characterized Reeves as “always smiling.” Adding, ” I’ve never seen him angry.”
Yet records released by the department also indicate he occasionally “allowed his temper to detrimentally affect his manner of dealing with his supervisors” and showed “inflexibility that sometimes interferes with a resolution.”
And prosecutors now say three weeks before this week’s fatal event at the Grove 16 Theater where an afternoon screening of “Lone Survivor,” a film about a Navy SEAL mission, was about to begin, Reeves had displayed aggression toward another movie patron.
At Reeves’ court hearing this week, Jamira Dixon of Wesley Chapel testified that Reeves also showed anger when she texted during a movie at the same theater and even followed her when she went to the bathroom.
Whether Reeves is a good Christian and loving grandfather or hot tempered retaliator, two facts stand out in stark relief from the fatal Florida incident. The clash would have resulted in spilled popcorn not spilled blood if a gun weren’t present. And, emboldened by shoot-first-ask-questions-later laws, armed people increasingly think of themselves as “victims.”
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Views expressed in this article are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.