Reports of a shooting came out of suburban Antioch, Tennessee this Wednesday.
Shots were reportedly fired at the Carmike Hickory 8 movie theaters at 901 Bell Road at 1:13 p.m. CT. At 1:50 p.m., authorities reported that the shooter was still active, according to USA Today.
Tennessee gunman shot dead within an hour of attack
Within an hour of the first reports, Tennessee authorities said that the shooter was dead. A SWAT team attended the scene, neutralizing the gunman and checking the contents of a backpack that the suspect allegedly left at the scene.
Nashville Police spokesman Don Aaron told the press that the shooter was killed by SWAT officers during a gun battle. The gunman had previously exchanged fire with one police officer, and was carrying two backpacks at the time. Tennessee police also found that the suspect was carrying a hatchet which could have been used to wound one victim.
“?The officer started at the projection room and started clearing down,” Aaron said. “He encountered the gunman. The gunman opened fire on the South Precinct officer. That officer returned his fire, and then backed away out of the theater.”
Around 25 people were inside the theater at the time of the attack, the majority of them children. Jeremy Cardoza, a staff member at the nearby Ford Ice Center, told the press that his business was on lockdown.
Tennessee shooting joins growing list in 2015
“We’re waiting on instructions from police. We have not been contacted yet,” he said. “We had a parent come in and they kind of just told us that there were a bunch of cops posted outside.”
Extra patrols were reportedly posted to the Carmike Bellevue 8 movie theater, located less than 20 miles away.
The shooting is the latest in a string of armed attacks in the United States. Less than two weeks ago, a gunman attacked a movie theater in Louisiana during a showing of Trainwreck. 59-year-old John Russell Houser shot two people dead and wounded 9 others before turning the gun on himself.
Debates over gun control continue to rage in the U.S., and this latest shooting is a reminder that mass shootings are becoming a fact of life.