The stabbings took place approximately 45 minutes into the showing of the R-rated suspense/horror motion picture, The Signal. The suspect, who was described as a white male, fled out of one of the back doors. The assailant was noted to be a heavy set white man in his late to mid 20s, 5 feet 10 inches tall, with black hair.
"The suspect is still outstanding," Fullerton police Sgt. Jason Schoen said early Tuesday.
Orange County Register reporter Denisse Salazar wrote:
Two men were stabbed and injured Sunday night while watching a horror film at the AMC Theater in Fullerton during what appears to be a random attack, police say. Shortly before 7:30 p.m., officers were sent to the theater at 1000 S. Lemon St. after someone reported finding a bag with what appeared to be illegal substances, said Fullerton police Lt. Tom Basham.
While the officers were at the theater, people started running out of the theater showing "The Signal," including two men with blood on them, Basham said.
Just before people started running out in a panic, two men sitting in separate areas of the theater were randomly stabbed by an unknown man, Basham said.
"He started stabbing at the theater seat and then he stabbed the victim," Basham said. "As he fled, he stabbed another victim sitting near the exit."
Basham said the victims did not know each other or the attacker.
One man suffered a stab wound to the arm, which also punctured his chest, and was taken to UCI Medical Center in Orange. The other man was also stabbed in the arm and was taken to St. Jude Medical Center. Both are expected to survive.
The attacker, who is believed to have been kicked out of the theater earlier, escaped.
No arrest has been made, but police are following some leads.
"The Signal," a horror-comedy, is told in three parts from three perspectives, in which a mysterious transmission invades every cell phone, radio and TV, turning people into killers. One character estimates that "one out of every two people" are impulsively murdering the other one, according to reviews of the film.
Basham said the film was paused while police conducted their investigation. When it was resumed, the first scene was a stabbing, he said.
What I find remarkable is that people remained to watch the rest of the movie after the attacks!
The Signal's three perspectives were written and directed by first-timers David Bruckner, Dan Bush, and Jacob Gentry. The film opened in limited theaters starting around Halloween on October 26, 2007.
Considering the underlying behavior contagion theme occurring in the suicidal-homicidal mayhem being triggered by the media, The Signal's plot that citizens are besieged with radio, television, and other broadcast signals that distort reality and turn them into hyper-violent killers is downright chilling.
Thanks to Richard Hendricks for alerting me to this event.