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Recordings capture chaos of Lafayette theater shooting

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Lafayette, Louisiana Theatre Shooting

LAFAYETTE, Louisiana — The tension and adrenaline are audible.

In dispatch recordings released Thursday, officers can be heard responding to last week’s deadly shooting at a Lafayette, Louisiana movie theater.

John Houser, 59, shot 11 people, killing two, before he turned the gun on himself.

Officers arriving on scene didn’t know what they were going to find.

“Be advised. They said he’s inside. He’s in No. 14, that he is reloading. He has a weapon. We have an active shooter here,” says one.

Says another: “Alright headquarters, listen, we need everybody over here. Send anybody you got.”

About 25 people were in the screening room and 300 people total in the multiscreen movie complex last Thursday when Houser opened fire during a showing of “Trainwreck.”

He’d settled into the theater’s second-to-last row then shot patrons a few minutes into the screening.

In the recordings, an officer advises headquarters that they were making entry.

“We got several more victims inside. Suspect is down. Suspect is down,” says a voice that shakes with emotion.

An officer requests help.

“We need more units inside to start helping triage, also bring first aid kits immediately,” he says.

Also released Thursday was surveillance video of Houser shortly before the shooting. It shows him purchasing a movie ticket and then calmly walking down a hallway into the theater.

Police don’t know why he opened fire in the theater or why he came to Lafayette, about 500 miles from his stomping grounds in Georgia and Alabama.

Clues suggest it wasn’t a spontaneous shooting. Searches of Houser’s hotel room and vehicle turned up wigs, glasses and other apparent disguises. He had swapped out the license plate on his car, which would have made it harder to track him if he’d escaped.