John Russell Houser, the murderous gunman who killed two young women and injured nine others in a Louisiana theater, called America a “filth farm,” railed against feminists, and was a staple on right-wing talk radio, where he often got a platform to spew his vitriol.
He also had a history of mental illness, including a stay in a psych ward, and an arrest for arson.
Still, he was easily able to purchase the .40 caliber handgun he used to unleash his fury inside a Lafayette, La. cinema during a showing Thursday night of Amy Schumer’s “Trainwreck.”
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Houser bought the murder weapon from a pawnshop in his home state of Alabama in 2014, police said. He had been denied a concealed-carry permit seven years earlier because of a domestic violence complaint and the arson bust, Reuters reported.
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He was estranged from his family and had only moved to Lafayette a month early but investigators said he was plotting the attack for awhile.
They found disguises, wigs and sunglasses in his motel room and he had multiple license plates for the blue Lincoln he parked outside one of the exits of Grand Theatre 16.
Police said he acted alone and was intending to speed away but fatally shot himself as cops a approached him during the chaotic scene at the theater.
The exact motive for his rampage is not known but a disturbing portrait of an unhinged man brimming with hate has emerged.
Houser, whose nickname was Rusty, was a self-described conservative who was a member of the Tea Party. He had a profile on a party website but wasn’t active, said Judson Phillips, the founder of Tea Party Nation.
He was a big fan of the Westboro Baptist Church , known for its hatred of the LGBT community and for inflammatory protests at the funerals of American soldiers.
Those leanings are made clear in his Internet postings — and in his frequent call-ins to right-wing radio.
Among his online posts:
Dec. 2013: “America is so sick that I now believe it to be the enemy of the world I know next to nothing about Iran, but the little I do know tells me they are far higher morally than this financially failing filth farm.”
June 2013: “If you don’t think the internet is censored, try reading a newspaper from a country that hates liberals the way I do.”
“Westboro Baptist Church may be the last real church in America.”
Houser was described as a “gadfly” by some and a frequent caller to right-wing radio who one host called “entertaining,”
Houser’s family distanced themselves from him in 2008; in April of that year, a judge ordered him not to contact his wife and daughter, who had filed a request for a protective order against him in Carroll County, Georgia.