WASHINGTON, Pa. (KDKA) — Police have made an arrest in connection with an altercation and shooting at a theater in Washington County in March.
The incident started as an argument that turned violent between a group of teenagers and an adult who were at a screening of the movie “Us” at the Regal Cinemas in North Franklin Township, outside Washington, Pennsylvania.
Authorities say they have now arrested 53-year-old Chris Williams and charged him with aggravated assault in the case.
Vittone said investigators with the Pennsylvania State Police did an “incredible job.”
“The job is to get as much evidence as you can, try to learn as much as you can about an incident,” Washington County District Attorney Gene Vittone told KDKA’s Kym Gable.
Vittone pointed out that the complex does not have surveillance cameras, so witness statements were key.
“In this case, statements from witnesses, particularly independent statements, are helpful in reaching a decision as to what charges to file and who has potential criminal liability,” he said.
According to investigators, the initial call about the incident claimed a group of African-American juveniles were harassing a patron who said they were making too much noise.
A witness, who did not want to be identified, said that was not true.
“The teenagers, they were just laughing at the funny parts of the movie. They were making comments, but it wasn’t loud enough to be disruptive,” the witness said.
She says Williams got out of his seat and confronted the teens. She recorded sound of Williams cursing on her cell phone.
The teenagers and other patrons left the auditorium, but according to Vittone, Williams followed them and the fight continued in the lobby. That’s when officials say a shot was fired.
“The adult male then pulled out a firearm and a struggle began, at one point the firearm discharged and struck one of the juveniles in the leg,” Pennsylvania State Trooper Forrest Allison said.
The teenager was treated at a hospital.
Williams is out on $100,000 unsecured bond. A preliminary hearing date has not yet been set.