Movie Theater Gunman Had a History of Mental Illness, Wife Removed Guns From Home

John Russel Houser was so mentally ill that his wife hid his guns and his family had him hospitalized, it has emerged.

The 59-year-old drifter from Alabama killed two young women and wounded nine others at a movie theater in Lafayette, Louisiana before turning the gun on himself on Thursday evening.

Court documents show his wife once removed guns from their home and even had him committed.

Houser "has a history of mental health issues, i.e., manic depression and/or bi-polar disorder," his family said in court documents from 2008, the Associated Press reported.

Read: Gunman Sitting in Movie Theater Opens Fire, Killing Two Women Before Turning Gun on Himself

The documents were filed after he made violent threats in an effort to stop his daughter's wedding. A judge granted the petition to have him involuntarily committed to a hospital as "a danger to himself and others." They also obtained a protective order against him.


Police say he had a criminal history from 10 to 15 years ago, including arson, selling alcohol to a minor and speeding.

In 1985 and 2002, he filed for bankruptcy, according to court records.

It has also emerged that he also posted anti-American ravings online.

"America is so sick that I now believe it to be the enemy of the world," he wrote last year.

Speaking to INSIDE EDITION, Judge Bobby Peters, the former mayor of Columbus, Georgia, added that Houser often attended city council meetings and public forums but “didn’t trust the government”.

He saw himself as a “watchdog" and was trying to find his "niche in the community." 

Read: What To Do During a Movie Theater Shooting

After the shooting, police searched a Motel 6 room where Houser had been staying in Lafayette. He is believed to have been largely estranged from his family and had few connections in the area.

Officials found his car nearby the shooting scene and began searching the motel where he stayed. Wigs and other items used for "disguises" were found in the room, although he did not wear a disguise during the shooting.

Two women lost their lives in the incident.

Jillian Johnson was a 33-year-old ceramics expert and also played in an all-female band called The Figs. The other woman was 21-year-old Mayci Breaux, a beauty queen and dancer who tried out for America's Got Talent.

Watch Below: What To Do During a Movie Theater Shooting