Theater Shooting Widow Makes First Public Comments Since Her Husband Was Gunned Down

Nicole Oulson, whose husband Chad was killed January 13 in the shooting at a Wesley Chapel, Fla. movie theater, made her first public comments since his killing.

“I was just looking forward to spending the day with the love of my life,” Oulson said nine days after the shooting at the Cobb Grove 16 theater in the Tampa Bay region.

“And just to think that, in the blink of an eye, my whole world just got shattered into a million pieces,” she said via CNN.

Nicole Oulson was herself wounded in the shooting by gunman Curtis Reeves, a retired police captain, who shot her husband during an altercation resulting from Chad texting their babysitter in the theater, during the previews for the film Lone Survivor.

It was a rare date night away from their 22-month-old daughter, Alexis, one that ended in tragedy after a petty argument turned into a deadly shooting. Witnesses say that Reeves left to complain to theater management and returned, continuing to squabble with Oulson before popcorn was thrown and Reeves drew his.380 pistol, shooting Oulson in the chest at point blank range.

Chad Oulson later died from the wound. Reeves is currently being held without bail at a Pacso County jail, charged with second-degree murder.

Legal experts are speculating as to whether Florida’s controversial “stand your ground” law will play a factor in the theater shooting case. Florida Statute 776 governs the “justifiable use of force; section 13, subsection 3 states the following:


A person who is not engaged in an unlawful activity and who is attacked in any other place where he or she has a right to be has no duty to retreat and has the right to stand his or her ground and meet force with force, including deadly force if he or she reasonably believes it is necessary to do so to prevent death or great bodily harm to himself or herself or another or to prevent the commission of a forcible felony.

The “stand your ground” law was notably used in the defense of George Zimmerman in the shooting death of Trayvon Martin. Per CNN, Nicole Oulson’s attorney, TJ Grimaldi, said his client “doesn’t understand what he was defending himself over.”

“There were 25 people in the movie theater. Nobody saw a weapon, nobody saw Oulson strike Reeves, and therefore it doesn’t appear like he’s going to have an evidence to support that type of defense,” Florida Coastal School of Law professor Rod Sullivan told WJCT News.

What do you think of “stand your ground” as it applies to the movie theater shooting? Can Reeves reasonably claim to be defending himself in the theater? How can an argument about texting in the theater during previews lead to a shooting?