OAKDALE, MN — Oakdale Police are investigating after a 23-year-old Hugo man was shot dead inside the Marcus Cinema in Oakdale on Tuesday night.
Police say officers were dispatched to the theater, located at 5677 Hadley Ave. N., following a report of a shooting. Upon arrival, the victim was found in Theater 17 with suspected gunshot wounds.
The suspected shooter reportedly fled the theater before they arrived and has yet to be apprehended, police said. The police do not believe it was a random act.
The victim was taken to Regions Hospital in St. Paul where he required surgery. Police say he remains hospitalized and is expected to recover.
Those inside the theater at the time of filming say the scene that followed was chaotic.
“All of a sudden there were policemen yelling to get out, there were probably three at the door,” said Angie Wright, who was watching a movie at an adjacent cinema. “There was a bit of chaos, is this real, is this really happening? Everyone walked out into a completely chaotic situation where they were searching cars and trying to figure out who the shooter was.”
Others say panic set in when relatives called to relay news of the shooting.
“I think it’s probably every parent’s worst nightmare, really,” said Chris Meads, whose daughter was in the movies at the time of filming. Meads says he and his wife got a call soon after.
“It’s the idea that you have your daughter sitting in a movie theater, and literally one room away from them, you have someone bleeding from a gunshot wound to the chest,” he said. he declares. “It’s just the idea that you are that
close to something. You start thinking about all the other shootings that have happened and you start thinking about how it could have been something so big. ”
“You’ve seen a lot of episodes or re-enactments of shootings, like in the theater in Colorado a few years ago. That’s what comes to mind right away, like, is that my time?” says Wright.
The cinema says it will remain closed during the investigation. There were no other injuries.
Anyone with information is asked to call Oakdale Police through Washington County Dispatch at 651-439-9381.