What's this? This is an unbiased just-the-facts news timeline ('newsline') about John Russell Houser, created by Newslines' contributors. Help us grow it by finding and summarising news. Learn more

John Russell Houser

John Russell Houser19 posts

John Russell Houser killed two people and injured nine in a shooting incident in a Lafayette, Louisiana, movie theater on July 24, 2015. He killed himself at the scene.

24 Jul, 2015

Shooter, victims identified

The shooter is identified as Houser, a 59-year-old from Alabama. The two victims are identified as Maci Breaux, 21, and Jillian Johnson, 33. Police also say Houser intended to flee the scene in his car, which was parked near an exit. He went back into the theater and killed himself when he saw law enforcement arrive at the scene. Police describe Houser as a drifter. Wigs, glasses and other disguising materials are found in his hotel room. Police say he also switched the license plate on the car he was driving. Alcohol is found in the room, but no drugs.

Kills two, injures nine


Houser kills two people and injures nine others in a shooting at a movie theater in Lafayette, Louisiana, about 20 minutes into a screening of the movie Trainwreck.  One of the victims dies at the scene. A second victim dies at an area hospital. Police recover a .40 caliber handgun at the scene; at least 13 bullets are discharged in all. Witness:

We look to the left and it’s the shooter just standing up just shooting at the whole crowd. He was, like, 6-7 seats down from us. … He just looked like a common guy off the streets, good looking guy, just normal … (with) white hair white facial hair. And said nothing.

Feb 2015

Buys gun legally

Houser purchases a Hi-Point .40 caliber semiautomatic pistol from a pawn shop in Phenix City, Alabama. He passes background checks because he doesn’t have any convictions for serious crimes. Source:

He just didn’t show up on any of the instant background checks.

1 Apr, 2014

Booby traps house

The new owners of the property find Houser has booby-trapped the house: the gas starter tube in the fireplace is twisted out and ignited, the logs removed. The new owners of the property divulge that it was an attempt at arson. No charges result.

He was hoping the house would catch on fire. That’s what the investigators told me.

25 Mar, 2014


Houser is evicted from a rental property on 32nd Street, Phenix. After being served his eviction notice, Houser wrecks the property by covering it with paint. He kills 300 koi fish that had been in the pond and spreads them around the property, and pours cement down drains. A criminal mischief complaint is filed, but police are not clear if an arrest warrant was ever issued. Homeowners:

Once we purchased the house, his attitude changed…just angry he would have to leave and didn’t have a home.

Dec 2013

Facebook post

Makes Statement

Houser posts to Facebook:

The bible doesn’t ask me to like what it says, only to obey it. Death comes soon to the financially failing filth farm called the US.

24 Apr, 2008

Threatens daughter, famly

Files Suit

Houser’s wife, Kellie Maddox, files a protective order against him saying Houser had threatened her and her daughter, over the daughter’s impending marriage. The order which was at least temporarily granted, says that Kellie had:

become so worried about the defendant’s volatile mental state that she … removed all guns and/or weapons from their marital residence. [Houser] exhibited extreme erratic behavior [and] made ominous as well as disturbing statements

The papers also say Houser has:

a history of mental health issues, i.e., manic depression and/or bi-polar disorder.

Houser’s daughter joined the filing, saying that Houser had traveled from Phenix City, Ala., to where she lived in Carroll County, Ga., and:

perpetrated various acts of family violence.

The order is lifted May 8.

Feb 2006

Flips property

Home purchase/sale

Houser sells his house, and invests in a property in Phenix city with an investor. Over a six month period he sells the lots and keeps the home to live in.

Needing cash for investment, I decided to sell my house and find one for profit. Riding the streets of the Columbus/Phenix City area I found a spectacular estate on 32nd street in Phenix City. Though it was grossly undervalued and completely unrealized it was two times my investment potential, so an investor was brought in. Lots were sold on the property while I kept the house and an extra lot for myself. This is my home today. What did I see in the estate that had escaped others? Cut the trees and see the view.


Denied concealed carry permit

Houser’s application for a concealed carry permit is denied due to an arrest record from Columbus, Ga., for arson, and indication of mental issues.


Arrested: selling alcohol to minors


Houser is arrested and convicted on three counts of selling alcohol to a minor at Rusty’s Buckhead Pub. The bar is closed. After an unsuccessful fight with the city to reopen the bar, during which he flies a Nazi flag from the building, Houser leaves the area. Police:

He was pretty frustrated with the police department and the judicial system generally, and his response was he had a Nazi flag attached to his building. If it wasn’t the size of a sheet, it was pretty close…He was erratic, angry, short-tempered.

Apr 1998

Operates second pub


Houser owns and operates Rusty’s Buckhead Pub in Lagrange, GA., for two years and four months

In a small town one in the entertainment business had better be in with all crowds.We successfully provided entertainment for all while maintaining an atmosphere worth a regular visit. Well rounded bands, food, and genuine communication coupled with a “don’t hold back” approach was a winning combination.


Helps defeat school bond

Houser helps defeat a proposed bond issue for the school district. He accuses the school district of punishing his wife, a public school teacher, for his role in that effort

Jan 1993

Talk radio host, guest

Hosts Show

Houser guest hosts one day per week for more than 60 episodes on Calvin Floyd’s RISE AND SHINE WLTZ NBC 38. Houser:

Invited political controversy on every one of them, and loved every minute of it.


He was on from time to time because he was a very radical person with radical views. He was a Republican and then I would have someone with a real strong Democrat view on.

He is also a 13-time guest of Doug Kellet on WRCG talk radio.


Arson attempt

Reports crime

Sometime in the 1980s, Houser tries to hire a man to set fire to the law office of John Swearingen, an attorney representing the owners of pornographic theaters, which Houser detested. However, the man Houser tries to hire is a police informant who turns Houser in. According to Swearingen, Houser reportedly told the prospective arsonist to be sure not to kill anyone — except Swearingen. allegedly saying:

I don’t mind if he dies.

Swearingen agrees to not to press charges against Houser if the family gets him mental health treatment.

Mar 1979

Opens pub


Houser opens the Peachtree pub in Columbus, Georgia. He runs the business for one year and six months before selling it as a going concern:

This establishment was the first “oldies bar” in Columbus and the first to have a live jazz band. This business was sold as a going concern and continued profitably for more than ten years thereafter.

What's this? This is an unbiased just-the-facts news timeline ('newsline') about John Russell Houser, created by Newslines' contributors. Help us grow it by finding and summarising news. Learn more