Woman seriously injured in Renton theater shooting

Photo courtesy of David Nelson

RENTON, Wash. - A 40-year-old woman was seriously injured Thursday when she was shot in the chest inside a Renton movie theater, police said.

The shooting happened at around 8 p.m. at a movie theater at the The Landing in Renton during a showing of the film "13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi."

"It got about 15-20 minutes into the film and I believe the lady in front of us that got shot was actually talking to her husband or significant other and that's when we heard the loud pop," said one witness, who did not want to be identified. He was sitting 3 or 4 rows behind the man when the gun went off.

"It must have been a light bulb or the projector lens or something that loud, but I mean I've owned guns and that's definitely a gunshot for me," the witness added.

"There was a gunshot and we thought it was a light bulb exploding in the theater, so no one really reacted," another witness said. He also did not want to be identified.

Just as witnesses realized it was a shooting, they saw the man make his way toward a nearby exit.

"We saw the lady, she was laying on the bench with a shot in her upper chest," a witness said.

Renton police believe the shooter may have been intoxicated at the time.

"Preliminary accounts indicate that an intoxicated suspect entered one of the theaters and was fumbling with a handgun he had in his possession when it went off, striking another patron seated in front of him," Renton Police said in a statement.

Medics transported the victim to Harborview Medical Center, according to Renton fire officials. She was listed in serious condition on Friday morning.

Police say the shooter's father called 911 Thursday night from his Newcastle home and told dispatchers his son was distraught and told him that he dropped his gun at a Renton movie theater and it discharged.

"According to him, he said he dropped the gun and it went off. We have witnesses that say he came into the theater and appeared intoxicated. He went in and took a seat in theater number nine and was fumbling with a pistol when it went off and struck someone sitting in front of him," said David Leibman with the Renton Police Department.

The 29-year-old suspect, who has not been identified, was booked into the King County jail on charges of investigation of felony assault

No one else was injured.