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3 dead, 7 wounded after gunman opens fire in Louisiana movie theater

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LAFAYETTE, La. -- A shooting at a Lafayette, Louisiana, movie theater left three people dead and seven others injured, according to authorities.

The shooter died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound, Sgt. James Anderson of the Louisiana State Police said.

A 58-year-old white male who was a theater patron fired multiple shots, said Col. Michael Edmonson of the Louisiana State Police. Edmonson said the shooter acted alone and there were about 100 people inside at the time.

Authorities said they know the identity of the shooter but are withholding it so as not to "affect the integrity" of the investigation.

"There's nothing to believe that there was any kind of motive," said Edmonson.

A State Police bomb squad was also called to the scene after police canines detected a backpack and other items in what investigators suspect is the gunman's car.

"We did blow up a package, a suspicious package," said Lafayette Police Chief Jim Craft. "No explosive devices were found."

The shooting inside the Grand Theatre 16 involved "multiple victims," the police department tweeted. Police said they received the call about 7:30 p.m. CT.

The scene immediately after the shooting was chaotic.

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"A whole bunch of girls started screaming and we heard that someone was shot," Roxy Martinez told CNN affiliate KATC. "There were a lot of people running."

Her brother saw a woman who had been shot in the stomach.

"I see a lady full of blood in a dress," Robert Martinez said. "She was just looking at me in complete fear."

Todd Moffatt, manager of a Mellow Mushroom pizza restaurant in the area, said 20 to 30 emergency vehicles had arrived on the scene. The area was locked down, he said.

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal tweeted, "I'm on my way to Lafayette right now. Please say a prayer for the victims at Grand Theatre and their families."

Lafayette is a city of about 120,000 people 60 miles west of Baton Rouge.

The shooting happened days after the conviction of James Holmes in the July 19, 2012, Aurora, Colorado, theater shooting that left 12 people dead and 70 people wounded.


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