A man was in custody after a shooting in a Renton movie theater left a woman in serious condition. Investigators believe the man was intoxicated when he entered a showing of the film “13 Hours” at Regal Cinemas The Landing 14.

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Authorities have in custody a man who they believe accidentally shot and injured a woman in a Renton movie theater Thursday night, Renton police Cmdr. David Liebman said.

Investigators believe the 29-year-old man was intoxicated when he entered a showing of the film “13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi” at Regal Cinemas The Landing 14, 900 N. 10th Place, with a loaded gun before 8:15 p.m., he said.

After he fumbled with the gun, it accidentally fired, hitting the 40-year-old woman in the shoulder, Liebman said. Medics took her to Harborview Medical Center, where she was in serious condition Friday morning. A hospital spokeswoman said she is improving and in intensive care.

Investigators believe the gunman and the woman don’t know each other, Liebman said.

After the shooting, the man reportedly left the theater and briefly went into a nearby restaurant, where he dropped the gun and picked it back up, according to a witness and police.

After a search, authorities announced around 10:15 p.m. that the man called 911 to turn himself in, and that he was in custody. Liebman said the man, from Newcastle, described the shooting as an accident.

Nathaniel Hansen, of Newcastle, talks to the press after assisting a woman who was shot in a movie theater in Renton Thursday night. Police are still looking for the suspect. (Bettina Hansen / The Seattle Times)

Nathaniel Hansen, who was in the theater, said he heard “just one loud pop.”

“We were in ’13 hours’ so there were a lot of gunshots going on in the movie, but this was louder than everything else,” Hansen said. 

After the gun went off, the suspect “walked out like nothing happened” and “seemed like he was intoxicated or something because he was stumbling around,” Hansen said. The man left out of the theater’s front door while still holding his pistol, he said.

Hansen used paper towels to put pressure on the woman’s wound until paramedics arrived. The woman told him she “had no idea who that was.”

The incident remains under investigation.

Staff photographer Bettina Hansen contributed to this report.

 

 

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