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Armed Suspect Shot in US Movie Theater

San Diego police shot an armed suspect as he brandished a gun in a local movie theater.
By Rachel Hirshfeld
First Publish: 1/14/2013, 3:43 AM

Gun (illustrative)
Gun (illustrative)
Flash 90

San Diego police shot an armed suspect as he brandished a gun in a local movie theater, where he had taken refuge while trying to evade arrest, a spokesman said Sunday.

Wielding a handgun, the 20-year-old, whose identity has not yet been revealed, fled after allegedly attacking his girlfriend in a California shopping mall parking lot Saturday.

He was eventually tracked down to a nearby multiplex cinema.

Theater-goers were evacuated from the premises as officers searched the building. He was eventually located in the viewing room that was screening the highly acclaimed and Oscar-nominated film "Les Miserables," reports said.

"As the officer approached the suspect, the officer gave the suspect verbal commands to determine if he was armed," said San Diego Police Department spokesman Ernie Herbert, according to AFP.

"The suspect initially complied by raising his empty hands, but then lowered them quickly into his lap. The suspect raised a handgun and turned it toward the officer.

"The officer shot the suspect and the suspect was taken into custody," he said, adding that the theater was safely evacuated.

The suspect was shot in the arm and the chest, and taken to hospital. He will be taken to the San Diego County Jail after being released from the hospital, Herbert told the news agency, adding that the charges have not yet been specified.

Last week a judge in Colorado ordered 25-year-old James Holmes to face trial over the alleged massacre at a midnight screening of "The Dark Knight Rises" in Aurora last July, which killed 12 and injured at least 58.

The incident revived America's perennial debate about gun control, re-ignited again last month by the shooting in a school in Newtown, Connecticut which left 26 people dead, including 20 young children.