In the second time in less than two weeks, a movie theater turned into a crime scene. On Wednesday afternoon, a man later identified as 29-year-old Vincente David Montano, attended a matinee performance of Mad Max: Fury Road at the Hickory Hollow Cinemas multiplex in the Antioch area of southeast Nashville. Carrying two backpacks, armed with an air pistol (nonlethal weapon that fired BBs) as well a hatchet and wearing a surgical mask, the suspect began to douse theatergoers with pepper spray before police made it to the scene. The suspect was then killed by a SWAT team; he was the only casualty.
This incident is significant especially considering it occurred so soon following the tragic events of the shooting at a movie theater in Lafayette, Louisiana, where three people (including the shooter) were killed and nine others were injured during a screening of the film Trainwreck. If there is a silver lining this time around, it’s that none of the seven other moviegoers were seriously injured. Three patrons were treated on the scene for pepper spray exposure and one had a cut that is believed to be from the hatchet the suspect was carrying. No one was hospitalized.
A motive is unknown, however Don Aaron, Metro Nashville Police spokesman, later spoke of the suspect, “This individual has had significant psychiatric or psychological issues. He had been committed four times, twice in 2004 and twice in 2007.” Further investigation went into the contents of the two backpacks the suspect was carrying. Aaron detailed the scene by adding, “The hazardous devices unit has examined the backpack that the suspect was wearing, and they are not comfortable with what they are seeing.” One of the backpacks was detonated and reportedly contained a fake bomb.
Carmike Cinemas, the operators of the Hickory Hollow multiplex additionally commented, “We are grateful for the quick and professional actions of our staff and all first responders in Antioch and Nashville. The well-being of our guests and employees has been and will continue to be of utmost importance to our organization.”