(SAN DIEGO, Calif.) — San Diego police shot and critically wounded a gunman who was hiding in a movie theater.
Police stormed into a screening of “Les Miserables” at the Reading Cinemas Carmel Mountain around 3:50 p.m. Saturday and confronted 20-year-old Tom Billodeaux of Escondido, Calif.
The suspect was initially cooperative and put his hands up, however, police said he then dropped his hand and appeared to reach for the gun on his lap. An officer fired, hitting Billodeaux in the arm and chest.
No one else was wounded in the shooting. Billodeaux was transported to Palomar Medical Center.
The incident began as a domestic dispute between Billodeaux and his girlfriend in a parking lot across the street from the theater.
The 20-year-old suspect left a suicide note at home and confronted his 19-year-old girlfriend who was in her car, taking a lunch break from work around 2 p.m., the San Diego Union-Tribune reported.
When the woman tried to return to her job, Billodeaux grabbed the woman from behind and threatened witnesses who tried to intervene with a gun, police said.
Billodeaux then fled the scene, running across the street and toward the movie theater, which is attached to a busy shopping plaza.
Police secured the scene, going from store to store and searching outgoing cars from the parking lot for the suspect, as a police helicopter kept watch over the entire area.
Officers then shifted the search to the movie theater and worked to evacuate staff and customers from each theater until they located the suspect, the Union-Tribune reported.
“We were in the movie theater, and the lights turned on and… two cops came through with their guns,” a witness told ABC News’ San Diego affiliate KGTV. “Apparently the person they were looking for was in the theater and then gunshots started.”
The theater remained closed while police conducted their investigation. There was no word on when it will reopen.
Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio
Chuck Johnston, CNN Newswire
Ray Sanchez, CNN Newswire