LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) - Veteran police officers describe the tension they felt when the first radio calls came across Saturday night about a shooting at the Cinemark Colonel Glenn 18.
“I thought, ‘Uh oh, what's this about,’" said Officer Steve Moore, a spokesperson for the Little Rock Police Department. “Pretty quickly it was explained through the radio traffic that it was on the parking lot.’
With that measured relief, attention turned to determining what happened.
A man had been hit in the hip in an exchange of gunfire between at least two shooters in the parking lot of the movie theater. Witnesses told police a man had been running back and forth in the lot firing a weapon.
They say that man then jumped into a red SUV and took off. He left behind a scene that was just short of panic as movie-goers emptied out of the theater.
“It was chaos,” Moore said. "You had people trying to get out of there and just trying to get away from what was going on, not knowing what was going on."
Investigators had to cover a sprawling crime scene.
“It was probably close to the size of a football field just to make sure we got everything roped off and that we didn't lose any evidence,” he said.
The wife of the man hit in the shooting said they had come to Little Rock for one of their regular movie date nights. They hadn’t even gotten their tickets when the shooting started. Moore said the man managed to push his wife out of the way to keep her safe.
She said they want to wait a few days before telling their story on television and she just wants her husband to get better.
A manager at the theater referred all comments about the incident to their corporate offices outside of Dallas, Texas. Cinemark's Director of Marketing, James Meredith, referred all questions back to the Little Rock police. He declined to offer a general statement about the theater’s safety procedures or any precautions in place.
“It's still safe to go to the movies,” Moore said. “In this day and age you never know when something is going to happen. As always, be prepared.”