Black Swan Shooting: Latvian Man Gunned Down in Theatre for Complaining About Loud Eater

There have been a growing number of cases of movie theatre rage over the past couple of years, and my guess is that it’s only going to get worse. Over the weekend, a moviegoer was reportedly shot dead in Latvia after a screening of Darren Aronofsky’s Black Swan. The shooting was a result of a disagreement when one man told another that he was eating his popcorn too loudly during the movie. Although it was initially reported that the complainant was the one who did the shooting, it has since been clarified that the man eating the popcorn waited until after the movie to pull out a legally registered gun and fatally wound the other. Audience members then overtook the shooter and detained him until the police arrived.

Now clearly shooting someone over such a thing is absolutely ludicrous, but did the victim have a right to complain about the popcorn muncher in the first place? I think we can all agree that disrupting a movie by talking and using your cell phone is unacceptable, but when it comes to eating, the rules are a little less clear. Movie theatres do sell popcorn, and eating food during a movie is a commonly accepted part of the experience. Some people eat more loudly than others, but should they be ejected from a theatre for it?

You’d hope that people could work it out amongst themselves with a little consideration for their fellow moviegoers, but I think we all know that’s a pipe dream. Perhaps ushers need to start packing heat as well. The sad thing is, unfortunate incidents like this will make people think twice about telling an annoying or disruptive person to shut the hell up, and maybe even force them to watch movies at home instead. Why do all the idiots have to ruin it for the rest of us?

Around the Web:



  • As someone who personally knows the main eyewitness from the case I can tell you that the part that you have personally added to the article is very wrong- the loud eater was not only loudly eating, he responded in a very rude way to several people, who told the shooter several times not to act so loudly. Shooter was late for the screening and he immediately started acting very rude to other viewers, like he was actually provoking them! The shooter also is an author of master thesis saying that everyone should be allowed to wear a gun.
    There is absolutely no excuse for shooting someone even if the remark would have been not in place, which was not the case. And, in a full cinema, in front of the daughter of the victim? The shooter must be seriously ill and there is no way to justify what he did.

  • Maopheus

    I think it goes both ways. People who would be more apt to speak up and confront an annoying or obtrusive moviegoer may be just as dangerous as that other person. You’re probably more likely to be easily provoked, and impatient. You might just as easily get involved in a road rage incident. It doesn’t matter what the actual context or situation is. It’s that the person has some issue about them, and something triggers it. If it wasn’t a problem in a movie theater, it might be a dispute in a restaurant, or anywhere. It’s not a movie theater problem. This guy could have easily shot anyone, anywhere.

  • Captain N

    This covers two massive problems that shouldn’t be happening, loud eating in a movie theater and shooting people.

  • Ben

    Captain N, addendum, “shooting people who don’t deserve it”

  • Jonny Ashley

    Was with a friend during Shutter Island, and a woman was whispering and talking loudly during the film. She was talking TO the film, so other people could hear her, which is the worst. My friend asked her nicely to be quiet twice, and after the third occurrence, he finally called out “Shut up!”
    She was totally livid, “Fuck you! Don’t you fucking tell me to shut up!” she was silent the rest of the film though, probably boiling with rage because she made an ass of herself in front of everyone.
    After the picture was over, she came over to my friend with her enormous white husband and started making a scene, “Don’t you ever tell me to shut up you nappy headed little motherfucker” while her husband crossed his arms next to her and was mumbling “Mmhmm dats right”.

    This was the same weekend that someone got stabbed in the throat during another screening of Shutter Island.

    It seems to me like the violent people are more often the ones who are loud in the first place. They always wait until after the movie to confront you, because they’ve been shamed in front of a public group of people and they know that everyone is probably staring at them the rest of the movie. They have to sit there and stew in embarrassment to the point where they can’t even concentrate on the movie anymore.

  • Darksiders

    Ben, addendum, — no one “deserves” to be shot

  • Soop

    Without seeming condescending, what is the purpose of you writing about this?

  • Liney

    I kind of agree that in this particular case, the fact that a cinema was involved seems rather irrelevant. The guy was acting like a dick, someone confronted him about this, and he shot him. Could have happened in any public place.

    However, I must admit that a part of me always sees the positive side from those other stories, where it’s the person making the noise who gets shot. Cos I’m thinking, “I hope the word gets out on this, so people shut the f*ck up in the cinema.”

  • patrik

    @Ben, addendum, – There are some football players who deserve to be shot.

  • La Menthe

    Why does it say ”seriously injured” when it is being made clear that he got killed?