Update as of 4:53 a.m. EDT: President Barack Obama has been briefed on the shooting at a movie theater in Lafayette, Louisiana, that killed three people, including the gunman, the White House said.
Lisa Monaco, Obama’s homeland security adviser, briefed the president onboard Air Force One on Thursday while he was on his way to Africa for a two-nation visit, the Associated Press reported. Obama has reportedly offered his thoughts and prayers to the victims' families and asked his team to keep him updated with the ongoing investigation and the status of those injured in the incident.
Lafayette Police Chief Jim Craft reportedly said late Thursday that nine people in total were wounded in the shooting. "At this point we have three dead, nine wounded and of the three dead one is definitely the shooter," he reportedly said.
Louisiana police have identified the vehicle of a gunman who opened fire at the Grand Theatre in Lafayette on Thursday evening, killing two people and injuring at least seven others before fatally shooting himself. Bomb squad arrived at the scene of the shooting after a suspicious package was spotted inside the vehicle, the Associated Press (AP) reported.
The shooter, a 58-year-old "lone white male," fired randomly at about 100 people who were in the theater for a screening of "Trainwreck," Lafayette Police Chief Jim Craft told a news conference. Police have identified the gunman, who has a criminal history that dates back to several years, but his identity has not been made public, Craft said, according to CNN. The gunman’s body was still inside the theater.
Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal arrived at a hospital to visit those injured in the incident. Police reportedly said that those injured ranged in ages from their late teens to late 60s. One of the victims has been released from the hospital while another is undergoing a surgery and is "not doing well," CNN reported, citing police.
"This is an awful night for Lafayette. This is an awful night for Louisiana. This is an awful night for the United States. But we will get through this," Jindal said, at a news conference Thursday night, according to the AP. "We can hug these families. We can shower them with love, thoughts and prayers." Jindal praised the heroism of a teacher who saved the lives of others by pulling a fire alarm after suffering from a gunshot wound in the incident.
Col. Mike Edmonson of the Louisiana State Police told a news conference Thursday that police believe the gunman fired shots only at the theater and did not attack anywhere else beforehand.
"We have no reason to believe that this individual acted beyond this location here," Edmonson reportedly said.