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300 Mourn Fla. Man Killed In Movie Theater Shooting

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Scene outside Tampa area movie theater shooting on Jan. 13, 2014. (Source: CBS4)

Scene outside Tampa area movie theater shooting on Jan. 13, 2014. (Source: CBS4)

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LAND O’LAKES (CBSMiami/AP) — Family and friends gathered together to remember the life of a Tampa-Bay area man who was shot and killed during a dispute over texting at a movie theater last week.

More than 300 people attended Chad Oulson’s funeral Saturday at the Land O’Lakes Church of God. The large load of people caused the ushers to bring in extra folding chairs and open the choir loft

The parent company of the Wesley Chapel movie theater where Oulson was shot Monday sent an arrangement of white lilies to the church for the funeral.

“The world lost a great guy,” said neighbor Saverio Mongelli. “He was funny, respectful, energetic about life.”

Oulson’s wife was shot in the hand during the dispute at the Pasco County theater. She did not speak at the funeral, but she hugged mourners with her left hand heavily bandaged.

In a statement last week, Nicole Oulson’s lawyers said she was “grieving the death of her husband” and comforting the couple’s 22-month-old daughter.

Retired police officer Curtis Reeves has been charged with second-degree murder and held without bail in the shooting.

Pasco County Sheriff’s officials say Reeves initially asked Oulson to stop texting. Friends have said Oulson was texting his daughter’s caregiver.

According to a sheriff’s office report, Reeves spoke to Oulson during the movie previews, then got up and informed management. When Reeves returned to his seat “additional words were exchanged” and Oulson threw a bag of popcorn at Reeves.

Reeves told investigators that Oulson struck him in the face with an unknown object, and that’s when he removed a gun from his pants pocket. The report said Reeves fired the gun and struck Oulson once in the chest and that he “was in fear of being attacked.”

Oulson, a Navy veteran, was originally from Mount Sterling, Ill. and came to Florida about 15 years ago. He moved to Land O’Lakes with his wife in 2010.

(TM and © Copyright 2014 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2014 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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