A purported dispute at a Black Panther screening over assigned seating allegedly led to at least one shot being fired from a.32 caliber pistol into the ceiling, police say. The alleged incident occurred on Friday night shortly before midnight in a Greenville, North Carolina, AMC theater.
Two men attending the showing were allegedly the victims in the encounter, although, fortunately, there were no injuries in the incident. Cops responding to the scene who were unsure if they were dealing with an active-shooter scenario evacuated all the moviegoers from the cinema complex as a precautionary measure.
One suspect surrendered to cops on Saturday evening on a pending warrant. The suspect, Shameka Lynch, 30, faces two counts of assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill and one count of discharging a firearm in an enclosure to incite fear, the Smoking Gun reported. As of an initial court appearance on Monday, she was being held in the Pitt County Detention Center subject to a $250,000 bond. Lynch is due back in court on March 14, the Reflector noted.
Greenville cops subsequently made an additional arrest in the case. They apparently believe that the second suspect allegedly pulled the gun and fired the shot or shots. The suspect, Chadwick Cherry, 40, faces similar charges as those filed against Lynch, along with possession of a firearm by a felon, WNCT explained.
Greenville Mayor P.J. Connelly praised the police for the way they responded to the incident at the AMC theater, the News&Observer reported.
“We want to send a strong message that this type of behavior is unacceptable in the city of Greenville. We’re extremely thankful we have a great police department to keep the people safe, but discharging a firearm in a unit dwelling inside the city limits is unacceptable.”
The Marvel superhero movie Black Panther has been packing theaters across the country and around the world, perhaps resulting in some degree of tension in the reserve seats. The film has earned about $400 million-plus at the box office in the U.S. since its February 16 premiere. Including overseas receipts, it has earned $700 million so far. Black Panther is on track to be one of the biggest grossing non-ensemble superhero movies in box office history, Forbes detailed.
Given that the alleged shooting during a showing of Black Panther in Greenville, North Carolina, over seating arrangements is a developing story, please check back for updates.