(CN) – A suspected gunman who was also wielding an ax was shot and killed by Nashville police Wednesday night after he allegedly attacked patrons at showing of Mad Max at an area multiplex.
Officials with the Metro Nashville Police Department identified the dead man as Vincente David Montano, 29, who was mortally wounded as he attempted to flee the Carmike Hickory 8 movie theater in Antioch, Tenn.
According to the police, Montano, who is believed to have been homeless, attacked patrons watching Mad Max in a theater auditorium around 1 p.m. local time. One man suffered a shoulder laceration from the ax and his wife and daughter were sprayed in the face with pepper spray, officials said.
Officer Jonathan Frith was the first to encounter Montano and shot him with a patrol rifle after Montano pointed his pistol at Frith, police say. A movie-like scene proceeded to unfold in the theater.
“Frith then backed out of the theater and worked to keep Montano contained inside as SWAT officers responded. It was during this time that Montano is suspected of filling the theater with chemical spray. Officers reported encountering a cloud as they entered in an effort to bring Montano into custody,” a written statement from the department says.
“Montano engaged SWAT officers inside the theater for several minutes, pulling the trigger of what turned out to be an airsoft pistol that closely resembled a semi-automatic pistol. As Montano’s gun popped, sounding like a small caliber pistol, four SWAT members fired. Montano, wearing a surgical mask, ultimately attempted to flee out the rear door of the theater. As he emerged with ax in hand and started toward officers, five opened fire.”
Montano reportedly died at the scene, about 40 minutes after police received calls about his alleged attack. He was carrying two backpacks or duffel bags – one contained a hoax explosive device and the other had nothing harmful in it, according to police.
Montano had mental health issues and was committed to an institution at least three times while living in Murfreesboro, Tenn., according to police. He was reportedly arrested there 11 years ago for assault and resisting arrest, but had no criminal history in Nashville.
The incident occurred nearly three weeks after a gunman killed four Marines in Chattanooga, Tenn., about two hours from Antioch.
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