Tennessee Theater Attacker May Have Wanted to Set Off Explosion

It later transpired that he was carrying an airsoft pellet gun, not a real gun, although police did not know that at the time. He initially thought he’d been shot.


“This shady looking guy stood up, looked like two bags, and he walked to the back of the theater and he pulled out a like like a hatchet and started attacking this family, and then he pulled out a gun and we all ran out of the theater…” a 911 caller said.

“All I could see was the silhouette of a figure”, Frith said.

No one other than Montano was killed. Frith backed out from the theater door, but he and other officers kept Montano in the theater.

A police spokesman says the mother of a homeless man was visiting a relative about 30 miles from Nashville when she called police, anxious about her son. “It was just by chance that I engaged him…”

Officers visited the home several times while Montano lived there.

Police fired about 100 rounds of ammunition at a hatchet-wielding madman after he terrorized moviegoers with pepper spray and a pellet gun Wednesday, the Tennessean reported.

He was killed by police.

It is impossible to say for sure whether Montano knew that the pellet gun would easily be mistaken for a pistol, which is exactly what authorities say happened.

The Murfreesboro report says Pruett brought with her a copy of a Tennessee identification card for Montano that listed an address for Nashville Rescue Mission, a homeless shelter.

“This individual has had significant psychiatric or psychological issues”, Aaron said late Wednesday, according to the Associated Press.

Police said Montano had been arrested on an assault charge in 2004 and had been committed for mental health care on four occasions, according to the Tennessean newspaper.

“There is a great possibility that he intended on using this propane canister as some type of explosive”, said police spokesman, adding it was gashed with the hatchet, which let the gas escape. Also in his posession were two backpacks and a surgical mask.

Three people were treated for exposure to pepper spray, including a 58-year-old man who also suffered a superficial wound to his shoulder, likely from the ax, Brian Haas of the Nashville Fire Department told reporters. Montano also had a pellet gun.

The shooting comes less than two weeks after a gunman opened fire in a movie theater in Lafayette, Louisiana, killing two people and wounding nine others before taking his own life.

Vincente Montano’s mother called police for help at least twice in 2004.

Court records show police were called at least twice to the 16th Street house. Police took Montano to a mental hospital for an evaluation, though the results are unclear.

In September of that year, police returned after the mother and son had an argument over him not mowing the lawn.

The year before, Montano took out an order of protection against Moore, alleging his brother “broke the lock off my shed, scratched my car” and “began more abuse than I can handle”. Officers believed Montano could have had explosives and deemed him an imminent threat.

This undated photo released by the Metro Nashville Police Department shows Vincente Montano, the attacker at a movie theater in Antioch, Tenn., Wednesday, August 5, 2015.

In her conversation with police she said she hadn’t seen or heard from him in three years.


Authorities said they have not found a vehicle near or at the scene belonging to Montano, and they do not believe he had one.

Montano's hatchet