After opening fire in a movie theater on Wednesday afternoon, the Tennessee theater shooter has been identified as Vincente David Montano. Montano, a 29-year-old who authorities believe was homeless, reportedly entered a showing of Mad Max: Fury Road at 1:15 at a theater in Antioch, a Nashville suburb, and was brandishing a hatchet and an airsoft pistol. According to Yahoo News, he was wearing a backpack over his chest, and a surgical mask on his face.
Thus far, police have only reported two women, aged 17 and 53, with pepper spray injuries, and a 58 year-old man who was exposed to pepper spray and has a minor hatchet injury. According to Don Aaron, a spokesman for the Metropolitan Nashville Police Department, the gunman first fired at a police officer who responded to the scene. The police officer then returned fire, and after Montano exited through the back doors of the theater, he was confronted and shot dead by other police officers.
Montano, who was reported missing to police on Aug. 3, was arrested for an assault charge in 2004, according to The Wrap. He had also been in and out of mental health facilities, having been committed four times between 2004 and 2007. Earlier, Montano had incorrectly been identified as a 51 year-old man.
According to Aaron, Montano was armed with pepper spray, and reportedly unleashed it into the theater. "As the SWAT team entered that theater, it was very thick with chemical spray, with irritant," Aaron told Yahoo! News. "Gas masks were brought in to those officers as they attempted to get this person into custody."
Police and an ensuing SWAT team were on the scene within moments of the attack. "The actions of that first officer who went in the theater to engage this individual may well have saved multiple individuals inside that theater," Aaron told reporters at the scene. According to Aaron, several officers were responding to a vehicle collision near the theater, and were alerted to Montano by several moviegoers. The gunman reportedly had two backpacks with him at the time, one of which contained a "hoax device," according to The Tennessean. Authorities say both bags will be destroyed by a bomb squad.
Montano's motive is not known at this time, but Wednesday's attack comes less than two weeks after a gunman opened fire in movie theater in Lafayette, Louisiana. The attack resulted in two fatalities and nine injuries, and John Russell Houser, the alleged gunman, shot himself afterwards.