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Widow of Movie Theater Shooting Victim: ‘My Life Got Shattered’

The widow of a Navy veteran who was shot dead during an argument over texting in a Florida movie theater broke down crying Wednesday as she spoke about her "unbearable" grief.

"In the blink of an eye, my life got shattered into a million pieces and now I'm left trying to pick them up and put them back together," said Nicole Oulson, who was with her husband Chad when he was killed Jan. 14 at the Cobb Grove 16 cinema in Wesley Chapel, Fla.

"It's so hard and it's so unbearable," she added.

"Right now, I'm just still trying to recover from the shock," she told reporters, flanked by two attorneys. "It's just unimaginable."

Retired police captain Curtis Reeves, 71, is charged with second-degree murder in the death of Chad Oulson, 43. He is being held without bail and Nicole Oulson's lawyers said he is a danger to the community.

"Everyone with a cellphone is at risk," lawyer T.J. Grimaldi said. "You never know when this guy is going to go off again."

Reeves' lawyer has indicated he plans to mount a self-defense case.

A criminal complaint says Reeves was sitting behind the Oulsons before a screening of "Lone Survivor" and confronted the husband about texting during previews. One witness said Oulson told Reeves he was messaging his 3-year-old daughter, Alexis.

Reeves got up to complain to management. When he returned, an argument ensued, and Oulson "threw a bag of popcorn at the defendant," the complaint said.

Reeves told deputies he was hit in the face with an "unknown object" and feared he was being attacked. He fired one round from a .380 semiautomatic handgun, killing Chad Oulson and hitting his wife in the hand, police said.

Asked whether they might file a civil suit against the theater, Grimaldi said, "At this point we are exploring all options," he said.

Image: Curtis Reeves appears via video conference in his first court appearance since being charged with second-degree murder after a shooting at a movie theater the day before in Wesley Chapel, Fla., on Jan. 14.
Curtis Reeves appears via video conference in his first court appearance since being charged with second-degree murder after a shooting at a movie theater the day before in Wesley Chapel, Fla., on Jan. 14. Pool via Reuters