This TBO.com article helps the public “get to know” the shooter who fired upon a man at the Wesley Chapel Grove 16 theater after an argument over text messages and noise. Please review, and leave you comments below:
WESLEY CHAPEL — The retired Tampa police captain accused of shooting to death a texting movie-goer in a suburban Pasco County theater Monday was a by-the-book, no-nonsense lawman who received outstanding evaluations during the 26 years he was with the department.
Curtis Reeves Jr., 71, is accused of fatally shooting a man who was texting in the Grove 16 theater in Wesley Chapel at an afternoon screening of “Lone Survivor.”
Retired Tampa police Chief Bennie Holder was a lieutenant under Reeves’s supervision for several years. Holder oversaw the hostage negotiation team, which was part of the department’s tactical response team commanded by Reeves in the 1980s and 1990s.
“He was the captain, I was the lieutenant,” Holder said Tuesday afternoon. “He was my supervisor and he was a great supervisor.” Reeves was not a hothead or risk taker, Holder said, but did run a tight operation.
“We were in many stressful situations and I never saw anything to indicate he would lose his cool,” said Holder, who became Tampa police chief in 1993, the same year Reeves retired. “He always was even-keeled. He was very knowledgeable of law enforcement and was by-the-book.
“But you should be,” Holder said. “He wasn’t inflexible, but he was paid to do a job and he knew how to do the job.”
It’s been years since he’s spoken with Reeves, Holder said.
“I really feel bad about what happened to Curtis,” Holder said. “I feel bad about the victim, his family. It’s mind-boggling that something like this can escalate into somebody dying.”
Retired deputy Chief Tom DePolis, who served in the department from 1969 to 1992, said he knew Reeves well and that the two collaborated in forming the tactical response team in the early 1970s.
He hadn’t seen Reeves in about 20 years until the two met about a year ago at the funeral of a mutual friend, DePolis said.
“He seemed happy in retirement and was … giving his attention to his toddler granddaughter,” DePolis said. “What happened at the movie theater seems so out of character for him I find myself still searching for something more that would explain his actions.
“I’m truly shocked and sickened by this and have overwhelming sympathy for both families,” he said. “One little girl is without her father, and another little girl is now separated from her grandfather.”… continued