SONORA (CBS13) – Moviegoers in Sonora got a scare last week when an off-duty corrections officer’s gun accidentally fired inside a theater.
The incident happened at a screening of “The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn — Part 2” at the Regal 10 Cinema in Sonora on Friday.
Michelle Miller couldn’t wait to take her daughter to the final Twilight movie.
“We waited a long time, and we paid good money to come see the movie,” she said.
But once the theater went dark, panic set in after she heard the gun go off inside the theater.
“What was rolling through my mind was the Aurora, Colorado issue, so I didn’t know if this guy was going to shoot us,” she said.
Police rushed to the scene not knowing if they were responding to a mass shooting.
“It was quite a relief when we got to the theater and found out it was a possible accidental discharge and not someone actually shooting individuals inside the theater,” Sonora Police Chief Mark Stinson said.
Responding officers quickly learned the shooter was an off-duty corrections officer.
“He tells us that he’s walking up an aisle looking for a seat in the theater, while doing so he was adjusting his off-duty holster and somehow the strap came undone and the firearm discharged,” Stinson said.
The bullet left a hole in an armrest and the floor and a woman said she was hit from shrapnel. Luckily, nobody was seriously hurt.
“It could have ricocheted off the floor, it could have directly hit someone,” Stinson said.
The shooter’s gun was confiscated by police. It’s being tested to see if there were any mechanical errors. No charges have been filed.
But for Michelle, from now on when the theater lights dim her heart will skip a beat.
“Once I realized what was going on, I started shaking,” she said.
The corrections officer could still face charges once the investigation is complete.
Police also reported the incident to the correctional officer’s direct supervisor.