The Slatest

Louisiana Shooter Was Known for Extremist and Anti-Feminist Rants

John Russell “Rusty” Houser’s LinkedIn profile.

Screen shot/LinkedIn

Lafayette, Louisiana, movie theater shooter John Russell “Rusty” Houser’s motivations for opening fire at a screening of the Amy Schumer comedy Trainwreck were initially not clear, but a report by the Washington Post’s David Weigel speaks to the question:

John Russell Houser, the man police say opened fire inside a Lafayette, La., movie theater on Thursday night, had boasted in an online profile that he made dozens of appearances on television talk shows.

The hosts of those shows said Friday that Houser over-stated his role, but they do remember him as an  argument-starting guest who was angry about high taxes and the growing power of women.

One host Weigel spoke to hosted a local political TV talk show in Georgia, where Houser lived before moving to Alabama and then to Louisiana, and the other hosted a similar program on the radio. “The best I can recall, Rusty had an issue with feminine rights. He was opposed to women having a say in anything,” said one.

Schumer’s work often addresses women’s political issues, and she’s often described in the press as a “feminist comedian.” Both of the individuals Houser shot and killed were women.

Here’s a shot from the LinkedIn page Weigel refers to.

Screen shot/LinkedIn

A Lafayette-area ABC affiliate documented a number of other extremist statements that Houser appears to have made online—predicting that the United States government would soon “fall,” attesting hatred for “liberals,” complaining that other Americans were “brainwashed,” and praising the Westboro Baptist Church.

Houser was involuntarily committed to a mental health facility in 2008; a proctive order was reportedly also taken out against him around that time by the woman who is now his ex-wife, her daughter with Houser, the daughter’s fiancé, and the fiancé’s parents.  

Houser’s victims join more than 60 others who have been killed in politically motivated attacks by white extremists in the past two decades.