UPDATE: Turns out it was all a freak accident. No gunshot sound was heard, (it was a stray bullet from outside the theatre) hence why the audience didn’t know the boy was shot. [Via reader Uzgov Lopez]
With the Aurora shootings still fresh in everyone’s minds, it pains me to say that there has been another victim of a senseless cinema shooting, in Mexico. This time a child of ten years (Hendrik Cuacuas) was shot through the head, while in a crowded cinema, with his family to see Wreck-it Ralph. A pretty family friendly film to say the least. But tragedy aside, the most surprising thing is that none of the audience members got up and left the theatre after young Hendrink was removed by paramedics.
Public anger prompted investigators to seal off the cinema and continue interrogating employees Tuesday about the youngster’s slaying. Cinepolis, the world’s fourth largest theater chain, also came under fire for allowing the feature film to continue after the mortally wounded boy’s evacuation.
The father of the boy, Enrique Cuacuas Miranda, an engineer, said he took his son and daughter to see “Wreck-it Ralph” at a multiplex theater in the Ixtapalapa area of the capital. About half an hour after the feature began, Cuacuas said he “heard something whistle by my ear.” Moments later, he turned to see his son in convulsions.
“I tried to get him to talk to me, to respond, and he wouldn’t,” Cuacuas told the W Radio network.
A father just trying to treat his kids to a cheerful family movie and then this happens…
Unbeknownst to Cuacuas, someone in a row in front of his family had fired a gun at his son’s head. For an unknown reason, the shot produced neither a loud report nor a muzzle flash.
Upon feeling blood on his son’s head, Cuacuas took action.
“I stood up and said, ‘No one leaves here until this is cleared up. I’m going for the manager,’” Cuacuas said.
Employees stopped the film and turned on the lights. A gurney arrived but it was not immediately clear that the boy had been shot, only that he was in convulsions and bleeding from the head.
Some of the 274 people crowding the theatre shouted at Cuacuas for interrupting the show. Cuacuas recalled that they said “maybe I was the one who hurt him.”
Imagine being in a position where your are begging people to help you with your convulsing son, not knowing what the hell is going on. And all you get in return is some disgruntled cinema goers, more willing to throw popcorn at you for ruining their special film night, than lending a hand to see what’s wrong. Perhaps the latest crime statistics from Mexico, up to 10’000 murders a year , makes people there just a little too jaded.
The family accompanied the wounded boy to the basement of the Plaza Ermita center. When a Red Cross ambulance failed to arrive, a theatre employee took the boy in his own vehicle to a nearby hospital. He was transferred later in the evening to better-equipped hospital.
It’s nice to know that some theatre employees will go that extra mile for you. And to think we dont tip those poor buggers. Makes you think twice about what your waiter would do for you in a bind.
The legal director for Cinepolis, Pablo Jimenez, said Tuesday that none of those in the theater heard a gunshot, defending the chain from criticism for continuing the film.
“There was never any panic or anything like that, and that’s why we didn’t suspend the showing. There wasn’t information available that would make us think that we ought to take this kind of action,” Jimenez said.
Jimenez said the chain only learned of the boy’s death this week. [McClatchy]
It looks doubtful that they’ll even catch the bastard who did this, whether committed intentionally or accidentally. This almost makes piracy seem like the safer option. It makes me appreciate the art-house cinemas we have here in Bristol just that little bit more.