Why is it that movie theaters seem to regularly be the place where terrible things happen? A young couple was out on a date last Friday night when an altercation in the parking lot led to both of them being run over by a car and left one dead. What makes it all worse is that it was the father of one member of the couple that caused the tragedy.
It all took place in Arlington, Texas last Friday night when 22-year-old Omar Soto and his girlfriend were leaving a local movie theater with a third friend. They were then approached by Rafael Brena Arteaga, the 43-year-old father of Soto's girlfriend. According to police, as reported by the Daily Mail, Arteaga asked Soto what his name was, Soto responded with his name, then Artega shot him multiple times. The woman then tried to help Soto, and which point the attacker ran over both of them with a car.
When police arrived Omar Soto was already dead and the woman was seriously injured. She was transported to a local hospital where she identified the shooter as her father. Two hours later, the shooter's pickup truck was located and he was found inside, dead of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound. Rafael Brena Arteaga is being described as being "possessive" of his daughter, but beyond that, there is no known motive for the attack. Arteaga was a licensed gun owner with no criminal record according to authorities.
There's really no motive in the world that will make an event like this make any sense at all. Based on the fact that the attacker had to ask his victim's name, it means that the attack wasn't even specifically directed at this man, just whatever man happened to be there at the time. There's no defense against an attack that random.
Movie theaters have been the site of numerous violent events in recent years. While this attack seems small in comparison to the mass shootings that have taken place inside theaters, it's still a tragic example of real-life violence taking place at a location that is designed for fun and escape. Considering the number of people that were around, even an apparently focused attack like this could have degenerated into something far larger, which is one of the reasons that movie theaters can be so potentially dangerous. While there are steps that can be taken to make theaters themselves safer, it's a significantly different matter when it comes to the wide open parking lot.
For the friends and family of Omar Soto the event is tragic enough. Whether there is any additional information that will help make sense of it remains to be seen.