On Thursday night, John Russell Houser bought a ticket for a screening of Trainwreck, sat and watched the film for twenty minutes, the stood up and opened fire on the audience. Houser killed Mayci Breaux, 21, and Jillian Johnson, 33, and injured eight other people before taking his own life.
Though police have been searching for a motive for the crimes, a report from the Washington Post suggests that Houser’s intentions were pretty clear. The Post reports that Houser made multiple appearances on local television talk shows where he expressed anger over intrusive government, taxation, and the “growing power of women.”
Calvin Floyd, a former talk show host in Columbus, Georgia told the newspaper that Houser appeared on his show, Rise and Shine, over a dozen times:
“Whatever he wanted to talk about, it would generate calls,” said Floyd. “He was anti-abortion. The best I can recall, Rusty had an issue with feminine rights. He was opposed to women having a say in anything. You could talk with him a few minutes, and you would know he had a high IQ but there was a lot missing with him.”
In addition to Houser’s public utterances about women, he also had a history of domestic violence. CNN reports that in 2008, Houser’s wife and daughter sought a protective order “saying they were worried about his “extreme erratic behavior.” Court filings also show that Houser’s wife was so worried about his “mental state she had removed all guns and weapons from their home.” It’s still unknown whether or not Houser obtained the .40 caliber handgun he used to murder two women legally.
Perhaps given this history—his well-documented problems with women—Houser’s choice of Trainwreck wasn’t exactly incidental.
UPDATE: Reuters is reporting that Houser legally purchased the gun at an Alabama pawn shop in 2014.
Image via 7 Online.