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

Shameeka Latrice Lynch
Shameeka Latrice Lynch Pitt County Detention Center.

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.”

Shameeka Latrice Lynch, 30, 890 N.C. 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.

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

Police said the case remains under investigation and additional arrests are likely.

Holtzman said Saturday the department was looking for a man wearing a white and blue shirt and a white and blue hat. The man purchased tickets and came with a woman, the chief said.

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.”