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I wish I could say it is uncommon to hear about people getting arrested after issues in movie theaters, but movie theater incidents are actually fairly common occurrences. However, this latest movie theater arrest came for a very different reason than a brawl or other type of misconduct. A man was charged after his loaded gun accidentally went off in a theater, causing him to take a bullet in the leg. Yes, the man effectively shot himself.
The incident occurred in Norwalk, Connecticut at the Bow Tie Theater on Westport Ave last month. Back in September, we learned that a man had shot himself in a movie theater during a screening of the hit horror film, IT. At the time, we didn't know what exactly happened leading up to the shooting, or why he shot himself in the leg. Regardless, now we know that the incident occurred because the trigger was pulled on accident. The gun shot wound may have been uninintentional, but that doesn't mean that the man, Theo Thomopoulos, is off the hook.
Recent reports indicate that Theo Thomopoulos was charged with several crimes: unlawful discharge of a firearm, second-degree reckless endangerment and breach of peace. The man who shot himself ended up turning himself in on Thursday, although this doesn't seem as if this was a case where the suspect was fleeing. Instead, police had to wait for a warrant to ask Thomopoulos to come in. When the gunshot incident happened back in September, the theater was evacuated and the injured Theo Thomopoulos was left inside; he later was treated by Norwalk Fire Department staff, according to The Hour.
Theo Thomopoulos did have a permit for the pistol that he discharged into his leg. Regardless, after the incident the 51-year-old man was asked to surrender his Springfield Arms 9 mm handgun. In addition, Judge Alex Hernandez, who is presiding over the case, told the Connecticut resident that he needed to turn in his other 10 guns after posting bail. He will not be allowed to handle any firearms while his case is still ongoing.
Theo Thomopoulos' bail was initially $25,000, but was reduced on Thursday to a "promise to appear" in court.
The good news is that Mr. Thomopoulos did not seem to be carrying with the intent to hurt anyone at the theater, despite the theater obviously having to be evacuated after gunshots were heard. The bad news is that he didn't adhere to gun safety or was using a faulty device that caused a rather major disruption in the theater. The Bow Tie Theater has stated it doesn't allow weapons on the premise, as well. Some movie theaters have talked about the potential to incorporate metal detectors and other check points in theaters following waves of violence that have occurred in certain theaters across the United States, but the cost of such an expenditure has been prohibitive for many theaters so far. We'll keep you updated as this particular case continues to progress.