A gunman wearing a surgical mask and wielding an ax opened fire on Wednesday at a Nashville-area theater showing of the movie "Mad Max: Fury Road" and was shot dead by police after injuring three people when he doused the theater with pepper spray, authorities said.
The gunman was identified as a local 51-year-old man and was pronounced dead at the scene, police spokesman Don Aaron told reporters. "The only person who was shot was the suspect as he emerged out of the rear door of the single movie theater," he said.
Aaron said police officers working an accident scene nearby quickly responded to the reports of a gunman at the theater. One of them entered the theater, encountered the gunman and "may well have saved multiple individuals inside."
When confronted, the gunman fired at the officer, who then returned fire and waited for backup.
The gunman appeared to be shot dead in a hail of bullets when he tried to exit the theater and encountered police, a witness said.