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For reasons unbeknownst to me, movie theaters, places where people go to have fun and escape the grind of daily life, are increasingly the scenes for all manner of crime and stupidity. In the latest edition of the movie theater crime beat, a woman in Tulsa, Oklahoma fired a gun outside of a busy movie theater.
The incident took place outside the Cinemark movie theater in Tulsa. According to the arrest report, a Tulsa woman, Mary Hill, fired a gun into the air outside of the movie theater. The Cinemark theater was very crowded at the time, but fortunately no one was hurt. Fox 23 News reports that the woman was arrested and booked early Monday morning on felony possession of a firearm, as well as the misdemeanors: shooting a firearm in public and reckless handling of a firearm. After being read her rights, Hill informed officers that she had a gun in her car, but did not have a carry permit. She was out of jail after posting bond a few hours later. Now at first it would be easy to dismiss this as just a crazy person firing off a gun in public for no reason, and I was prepared to do just that. But an interesting wrinkle in the story has developed in the time since it first broke.
According to News on 6, Mary Hill is attempting to clear her name, claiming that she is not just some yahoo shooting off a gun at random, but in fact her actions were done in an attempt to save a teenage girl's life. According to Hill, she arrived at the Cinemark theater to pick up her son and a friend when she witnessed two men beating a teenage girl. She said that she got out of her car and yelled for people to call 911 before trying to scare the attackers away from the girl. She pulled out her gun on the men, who supposedly considered it a fake and continued their assault. So Mary Hill then fired the gun into the air to prove it was real. After that, the men stopped their attack on the girl who got into a car and drove away. Mary Hill says she was fearful the girl would die by the time the authorities arrived, so she took the chance and got involved.
We don't currently know if Mary Hill's story is true. Hopefully, if it is, they can find someone to verify it. Perhaps a bystander who heard her pleas to call 911 could back it up, or the victim of the attack can come to the rescue of the woman who rescued her. While this probably wouldn't get Mary Hill off the hook for the gun possession and misdemeanor charges, it would clear her name in the court of public opinion, rebranding her from crazy lady with a gun to concerned citizen who took it upon herself to help a stranger. Neither truth here is good; either a lady decided to randomly fire a gun in public or a young girl was being attacked. Bad things happen and the venue doesn't change the unfortunate nature of that, but it is sad that movie theaters, a place where people can come together and enjoy a communal experience, are so often the sites of humanity's worst impulses.