Soon after police identified the Louisiana shooter Friday morning, a slew of bizarre stories surfaced about 59-year-old John Russell Houser. Among his antics: Friends say that when Houser was evicted from his home in March 2014, he left behind a house covered in purple paint, dead koi fish and feces.
Houser fatally shot two women Thursday at a showing of "Trainwreck" in a Lafayette, Louisiana, movie theater before turning the gun on himself, authorities said. Police said Houser was from Alabama, but he had been staying in Lafayette since early July at a local hotel. He was "kind of a drifter," Lafayette Police Chief Jim Craft said.
Public records place Houser at more than 12 residences over the last 20 years. The places where he lived included Phenix City and Magnolia Springs in Alabama, and Carrollton, Columbus and Lagrange in Georgia.
Houser was living in Phenix City in March 2014 when the 32nd Street house was foreclosed on and purchased by Norman Bone, a man who had known Houser from church prior to the sale. Bone asked Houser to leave the house, but Houser refused. So Bone took legal action to evict him, eastern Alabama newspaper the Ledger-Enquirer reported.
"We had a little trouble with him, getting him out, when we bought the house and he wasn't the same person he was," Bone told the Ledger-Enquirer.
In response, Bone said, Houser broke electrical boxes, put cement down the drains and cut electrical cords. He also killed around 300 koi fish that were in a pond in the backyard, cutting them up to leave all over house. He also left feces, semen and purple paint splattered around the residence.
"[Everything] you could think about someone doing to mess up a house, he did it," said Bone, who had known "Rusty" for around 25 years.
Bone said FBI agents called him around 2:30 a.m. Friday and came to search the house.
Houser "has a history of mental health issues," including "manic depression and/or bipolar disorder," his family said in court documents from 2008, when they tried to get a temporary restraining order against him. A judge granted the family's petition to have Houser involuntarily committed to a hospital as "a danger to himself and others."