John Russell Houser: Louisiana Theater Gunman

Police has identified a man who sat silently in a Lafayette, Louisiana movie theater for 20 minutes before shooting 11 others in an incident that was over in matter of seconds witnesses say!

According to witnesses 59-year-old John ‘Rusty’ Houser, was seated in the theater “just like everybody else” before firing 13 rounds, Houser sadly managed to kill two people and wounded 9 others.

Houser used a .45-caliber handgun and his following act was to take his own life. According to police, he had been staying in a local Motel 6 in recent weeks. Police also said the gunman was “estranged” from his family but so far his motive for the shooting is not clear.

John along with other movie goers were watching the 7:10 pm showing of “Trainwreck” at the Grand Theatre 16 when they heard a popping sound 20 minutes into the movie. A witness told NBC “”He wasn’t erratic or nervous … just walking down the aisle, randomly firing.”


As people inside realized what was happening, some tried to reach the nearest exit, other left behind their belongings and one managed to set off the fire alarm.

Police officers who were in the theater parking lot got to scene in less than a minute, perhaps prompting Houser to take his own life.

The two victims were identified as 21-year-old Mayci Breaux and 33-year-old Jillian Johnson. Both of them happened to be sitting right in front of Houser, they were his first victims.

Houser was originally from Phenix City, Alabama. On his LinkedIn profile he is describes as an entrepreneur. He attended Columbus State from 1985 till 1988 for a BBA in accounting. He also had a degree in law from Faulkner University.

In the early 90’s he was a guest host at RISE AND SHINE WLTZ NBC 38, for over 60 episodes. He was the owner/operator of Rusty’s Buckhead Pub.

Houser –who turned to the crowd and shot himself after realizing police had come to the scene –apparently had a criminal record and included an arson arrest.

At his motel room it was discovered disguises, including glasses and wigs. His 1995 blue Lincoln Continental had a license plate on it that didn’t match the car.

John Russell Houser was also known as Rusty Houser, possible family members include Kellie Houser, Kirbey Broome and Rusty Houser.