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US police kill man attacking cinema-goers with a hatchet during Mad Max

The incident took place around 7.40 pm Irish time in a suburb of Nashville.

Theater Shooting Tennessee Source: Associated Press

POLICE IN THE town of Antioch, Tennessee have shot dead a man who attacked cinema-goers with a hatchet and pepper spray during a screening of Mad Max: Fury Road, this afternoon.

Local media has reported that the suspect entered the Carmike Hickory 8 cinema, in the suburb of Nashville, at around 1.40 pm local time (7.40 pm Irish time), wielding a gun, hatchet and pepper spray.

A spokesperson for the Nashville Fire Department said the man left three people wounded: a 58-year-old man with “superficial cuts” to his shoulder, and two women aged 53 and 17. All three were suffering the effects of pepper spray.

Don Aaron, a spokesperson for Nashville police, said an officer came into the cinema and was fired upon by the suspect.

The officer shot back, then backed off. After that, a SWAT team came in, and there was another exchange of gunfire. The suspect was then found dead.

CORRECTION Theater Shooting-Tennessee Source: AP

He had two backpacks, one of which was detonated by the Nashville bomb squad.

According to Aaron, the deceased was a 51-year-old local white man wearing a surgical mask.

The entire event transpired over less than an hour’s time. Aaron said the first call came in about 1.13 pm, and that two officers outside in the midst of a traffic stop responded within two minutes just as witnesses ran toward them.

Erick Vale, 32, an Uber driver, told The Tennessean newspaper that he was dropping off passengers in the cinema’s car park when he heard gunshots.

He described it as “utter chaos.”

I just couldn’t believe this was happening again.

Theater Shooting Tennessee Source: Associated Press

Mattie Sanchez works at a phone shop near the cinema. She told the Associated Press that a man who had two backpacks and fit the description of the attacker had tried to enter a back door of the shop about 11 am.

One of our techs went to see what was going on and he was walking down the back of our store.

She said the man, who had dark hair and was wearing a yellow shirt, also walked in front of the store.

Sanchez said she later heard what sounded like “rapid fire” and saw the large police presence.

The latest shooting comes about two weeks after a gunman opened fire inside a movie theater in Lafayette, Louisiana, during a screening of the film “Trainwreck.”

Police said John Russell Houser killed two people and wounded nine others before fatally shooting himself.

Contains reporting by the Associated Press.

Read: Gunman who killed two women in Louisiana cinema was ‘a drifter’>

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Dan MacGuill

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