Lafayette Gunman Had History of Domestic Violence, Issues With Women

Illustration for article titled Lafayette Gunman Had History of Domestic Violence, Issues With Women

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.



I kept waiting for this. I kept waiting to hear why a man his age would go to see Trainwreck alone if there were “no motivation” as police were saying earlier. I kept waiting to hear about the misogyny and racism because I knew it was just a matter of time. These guys never just kill a bunch of random people and themselves because they’re “crazy.” I am so sick of this shit. So sick of white men being treated as inherently innocent when we see these things happening constantly.

It makes me sick when I remember my own father, during a period of unemployment, going off on how movies my mom and I were watching were “bashing men” and then he would storm off. He would complain about people of color, people with disabilities, women, taking his jobs and if he were a disabled lesbian he would probably have gotten it. These men are so frustrated but fuck them. A lot of people are frustrated but they think their frustrations are special. My mother spilled a lot of cold water on him and told him to stop being a baby - maybe not the best approach but he eventually, slowly changed, was fortunate and got a job, and when the insecurity went away so did the bigotry, and now he’s defending gay students and telling me not to let a man push me around.

The change is huge, but my point is that this is not how men inherently are. Our society needs to ask more of them and stop expecting this bullshit as part of their nature. I guess our telling them that they’re not entitled and finally pushing back is what is leading men like this, who were not redeemable, who would not have turned around, to do things like this. My fear is that the more men like him and Elliot Rodgers and the man who shot up a gym full of women will just inspire more and more men to wage war against women, especially women of color, and men of color and anyone else they blame for their shitty lives. I’m just so sick of it.