Lawyer: Theater Suspect Fearful After Colorado Shooting
WESTLAKE, Ohio — The attorney for a man accused of bringing several weapons into a showing of the new Batman movie said his client was protecting himself. He says he was fearful after the Colorado shooting during the same movie that left 12 people dead.
Matthew Bruce, of Medina, the attorney for Scott A. Smith, 37, of North Ridgeville, said Smith had no intention of causing anyone harm.
Westlake police said on Saturday night, Smith bought a ticket for a 10 p.m. showing of The Dark Night Rises at Regal Cinemas at Crocker Park, and sat down in the back of the theater with a bag full of deadly weapons.
A police officer working security became suspicious of Smith and searched his bag.
“He saw a Glock handgun in there, a pistol, a 9mm pistol, two extra magazines. The magazine in the gun was loaded as well as the other two. He had three knives in the bag and one on his person,” said Lt. Ray Acuri, of the Westlake Police Department.
Bruce told us on the phone that “[Smith] was fearful of being in a movie theater at night in light of the Colorado shooting.”
More than two weeks ago, police said a man stormed a midnight showing of the The Dark Night Rises in Aurora, Colorado, and opened fire, killing 12 people and injuring dozens of others.
According to Smith’s attorney, the recent massacre has him fearful.
“(Smith’s) intention was purely of self-protection. There was no intent to harm,” Bruce said.
Police said on Sunday they served a search warrant at Smith’s North Ridgeville home, where he lives with his wife and young child.
“We found a lot of weapons in there; a lot of rifles, ammunition, gas masks, survivalist type of gear in there … a lot of it,” Acuri said.
Fox 8 News went by Smith’s home, but no one answered the door.
Bruce would not comment on why Smith allegedly has so many weapons at his home.
He said Smith has been cooperative with police and has not made any threats.
Police said they are not sure what Smith’s intention was for bringing so many weapons in the theater.
“It’s hard to say, I mean the potential is there, obviously. He didn’t make any statements there, or since, that would lead us to believe it, but obviously the risk is there,” Acuri said.
Smith has not been formally charged with any crime.
Regal Cinemas said they are again stepping-up security and will restrict bags in the theaters.