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Civil suit filed in 2014 killing at area theater

Posted: 10:59 PM, Jan 12, 2016
Updated: 2016-01-13 10:32:44-05

January 13 will mark exactly two years since Chad Oulson was shot and killed at the Cobb Grove 16 Movie Theater and Cinebistro in Wesley Chapel. 

Oulson was killed after an argument over cell phone use in the theater with former Tampa Police Captain Curtis Reeves. 

Reeves admitted to the shooting and faces a second-degree murder charge. His attorneys have filed a motion to use Florida’s Stand Your Ground law as the basis for their defense.

Reeves and his wife were sitting behind Chad Oulson and his wife, Nicole, in the theater when Reeves asked Oulson to stop texting before the movie, according to law enforcement. The argument escalated and that's when Reeves pulled out a handgun and shot Oulson, 43, in the chest.

The civil lawsuit alleges that the minutes before the trigger was pulled are critical to their case.

It states that theater manager Thomas Peck was negligent and breached his duty to respond to Mr. Reeves complaint that Chad Oulson was “erratic and volatile.”

The suit alleged that Reeves complained to Peck that there was an issue in theater 10. But, Peck did nothing to defuse the situation.

“This suit is all about the fact that they believe this wouldn't have happened if Cobb theater, by and thru his manager, Mr. Peck, (had) done what Mr. Reeves asked him to do when he went out to the desk before the shooting took place,” ABC Action News legal analyst Jeffery Swartz said. 

The suit also claims the theater did not have proper training or security to enforce their "no gun" policy. 

The bulk of the blame for Oulson’s death was in part due to “Thomas Pecks’s negligence," the suit alleges.

Oulson's wife, Nicole, tried to shield her husband from the shot, law enforcement said, but the bullet went through her hand.

Nicole Oulson’s attorney released this statement along with the civil suit:

As a result of the tragic shooting that occurred at the Cobb Grove 16 Movie Theater and Cinebistro on January 13, 2014, Nicole Oulson on behalf of herself and deceased husband, Chad Oulson, filed the attached complaint in Dade City, Florida.

While Ms. Oulson has complete faith in the criminal justice system, and the State Attorneys handling the case, she could not just sit back any longer and allow this sort of thing to potentially happen to another family. Ms. Oulson has seen the tragic events unfold in other movie theaters throughout the country, since the death of her husband, and wants to help effectuate change in any way that she can while seeking justice from all responsible. She feels that this is the best, most appropriate way to protect other innocent lives.

While Ms. Oulson continues to focus on recovering from this terrible loss, and dealing with the continued setbacks in the criminal case, she asks that media members do not contact her, and ask that you instead contact us, as her attorneys, for any information or comments on her behalf.

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