Surprising practically no one, the man* who murdered two and wounded nine in a Lafayette, Louisiana movie theater was not legally permitted to carry a handgun due to mental health concerns:
Authorities have uncovered that Lafayette theater shooting J___ H_____ apparently had mental issues and was evicted from his Alabama home in 2013 or 2014.
Russell County Sheriff Heath Taylor told The Advocate that his office also denied H_____ a pistol permit in 2006.
“It appears he had some mental health issues,” Taylor said.
Senior law enforcement officials are also trying to locate H______’s family members.
“He was known to us,” Phenix City Police Chief Ray Smith told The Advocate, citing number of civil disputes and “strange behavior.”
H_____, the gunman authorities say fatally shot two people and wounded nine others before killing himself Thursday in a Lafayette movie theater, was a 59-year-old drifter living in a motel, where investigators have found wigs and disguises.
Lafayette Police Chief Jim Craft said Friday morning in announcing H_____’s identity that authorities still have no motive in the killings. His car, found in the parking lot near a theater exit after the shootings, had a switched license plate.
Craft said H_____ clearly intended to escape after opening fire by blending in with the fleeing crowd, but turned back when police arrived and shot himself.
To clarify the statement above, Louisiana requires a permit to carry a concealed weapon, but does not require a pistol purchase permit.
Due to these documented mental health concerns and an a criminal record, the murderer could not have legally purchase a handgun like the one used in the attack. It is not known at this time where or when he obtained the firearm.
* Bearing Arms does not publish the names of mass murderers and spree killers.