Crime

Argument over seats at NC movie theater ‘Black Panther’ showing led to shooting

Shameeka Latrice Lynch, left, and Chadwick Cherry were charged in connection with shooting a gun in a Greenville, NC movie theater on Friday, Feb. 23, 2018 during a showing of the superhero movie "Black Panther."
Shameeka Latrice Lynch, left, and Chadwick Cherry were charged in connection with shooting a gun in a Greenville, NC movie theater on Friday, Feb. 23, 2018 during a showing of the superhero movie "Black Panther."

An argument over assigned seating during a showing of superhero movie “Black Panther” in a crowded Greenville theater led to a shooting on Friday, police said.

“That dispute quickly turned into a pistol being pulled out and at least one shot being fired off into the ceiling,” Greenville Police Chief Mark Holtzman said.

Police received reports of an active shooter at the AMC theater on Fire Tower Road at about 11:45 p.m. on Friday.

The shooting happened in Theater 2 of the multiplex, police said. When officers arrived, Holtzman said they were unaware that only one shot was fired, and treated it “as an active-shooter situation.”

Two people were arrested in connection with the shooting.

Shameeka Latrice Lynch, 30, of the 800 block of N.C. Highway 33, turned herself into the Pitt County Detention Center on Saturday, police said. She’s charged with one count of discharging a firearm in an enclosure to incite fear and two counts of assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill. As of Sunday, she was in the Pitt County Detention Center under a $250,000 bond.

A man also was arrested in connection with the shooting, and police say he was the one who fired the weapon in the theater – not Lynch.

Chadwick Cherry, 40, of Tarboro, was arrested near the intersection of Greenville Boulevard and Memorial Drive on Monday. Greenville police received assistance in the arrest from the FBI and SBI Fugitive Task Force. Cherry is Lynch’s boyfriend, according to reports.

Cherry was charged with discharging a firearm in an enclosure to incite fear, two counts of assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill and possession of a firearm by a felon. A .32 caliber pistol was used in the shooting, according to warrants.

It was unclear why both Lynch and Cherry were charged with discharging a firearm since police said only one shot was fired.

Carrying a weapon of any kind at an AMC theater is prohibited, according to company policy.

Cherry’s bond was set at $300,000 during his first court appearance in Pitt County on Monday.

No one was harmed in the shooting, police said, but the theater was evacuated as a precaution.

Police are asking anyone with information about the incident and anyone who was in Theater 2 to contact the department at 252-329-4150.

Greenville mayor P.J. Connelly said he was proud of the police department’s response.

“We want to send a strong message that this type of behavior is unacceptable in the city of Greenville,” Conelly said. “We're extremely thankful we have a great police department to keep the people safe, but discharging a firearm in a unit dwelling inside the city limits is unacceptable.”

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