As more details emerge about the Lafayette shooter who opened fire in a movie theatre and killed two people before turning the gun on himself, here’s what you need to know.
John Russel Houser was both a supporter of the far-right Tea Party, the extremist Christian Westboro Baptist Church and even Adolf Hitler web accounts connected to the 59-year-old Louisiana theater shooter reveal.
Houser, who went by the name Rusty, committed suicide Thursday night after opening fire in a screening of the movie Trainwreck at a Lafayette, Louisiana theater- killing two others and injuring nine.
Houser also owned two short-lived bars – Rusty’s Buckhead Pub which was open for just two years in Lagrange, Georgia between 1998 and 2000 and Peachtree Pub which was open for a year and a half in Columbus, Georgia and closed in 1980.
He lost his liquor license at Rusty’s Pub in 2001 for serving minors, and responded by hanging a flag the size of a bed sheet on the building featuring a swastika for several week.
He said this was because the police were acting like the Nazis.
‘The people who used it – the Nazis – they did what they damn well pleased,’ Houser told the LaGrange Daily News of the swastika symbol at the time.
Houser was also arrested on arson charges in the 1980s after hiring a hitman to set fire to the law offices of a man who represented a string of pornographic theaters.
The hitman ended up being a police informant.
The lawyer, John Swearingen, agreed to not press charges, despite Houser allegedly saying he did not care if the man died, as long as he received mental health treatment.
NBC News obtained a 1989 mental evaluation of Houser in which Swearingen, said; ‘He was very intent on burning down the law office. He was some kind of religious fanatic and as I recall he said God told him to do it.’
Read more: Daily Mail