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Too often, we report on violence inside of a movie theater, a location that's supposed to be a safe haven for film lovers. In the past, these incidences tend to involve gun violence, with shootings that occur following altercations or, worse, for random reasons that are much harder to predict. Today's instance involves a stabbing, and it's no less tragic or heartbreaking.
It's being reported that a Santa Rosa, CA patron was stabbed numerous times while trying to watch The Shallows in a movie theater on Wednesday afternoon, according to The Wrap. The victim is 21 years old, and male, and was attacked while attending a 3:30 p.m. screening of the Blake Lively shark thriller at the Roxy Theater in downtown Santa Rosa. The call came in around 4:07, roughly 30 minutes after the screening had started. Police report that a 23-year-old male was arrested on suspicion following the event, and that the weapon in question was retrieved at the scene.
What's most terrifying about this attack is that the motives remain unclear, and the police are describing it as random. They say that, out of nowhere, the man in the theater was stabbed in the throat, the arm and the lung. The victim faces life-threatening injuries, and remains hospitalized. As for the suspect, the Santa Rosa Press Democrat reports that this might not be the first time he has committed this type of crime. Because of the nature of the attack, police are investigating him for an unsolved stabbing that happened in a Santa Rosa doorway where the injured man sometimes slept. Sgt. Josh Ludtke tells the paper:
Based on the randomness of the act, the brutality of the act, certainly he's a person we're looking into as a suspect.
Sadly, this is the latest in a string of incidents involving movie theater patrons being injured or killed while trying to watch a film. Amy Schumer's bawdy comedy Trainwreck made headlines last year when someone opened fire on Louisiana patrons just trying to enjoy her comedy. The most high-profile case of a movie theater shooting probably remains the Dark Knight Rises shooting in Aurora, Colorado, where a lone gunman killed 12 and injured 70 in a horrifying attack on a movie theater.
Our prayers go out to the victim of this horrible crime and his family members. While measures are always being put into place to try and increase security at places where we love to hang out, this is a necessary reminder that terrible things can happen almost everywhere, and we need to stay safe and vigilante, as often as possible. Take care of one another. Take care of yourself.