The alleged shooter entered the Grand Theatre 16 in Lafayette, a city of about 120,000 people, 60 miles west of Baton Rouge, by himself, according to Louisiana State Police.

Authorities said they know the identity of the man but are not yet releasing it. About 100 people were inside the theater for a screening of the comedy, 'Trainwreck', when the shooting happened shortly before 8.30 pm.

Another Grand Theatre in the city was closed and additional police were deployed to other theatres as a precautionary measure, police chief Jim Craft said. In addition to representatives from the state police and local police department, representatives for the FBI and the district attorney were  on site, Craft said.

The shooting occurred days after the conviction of James Holmes in the  Aurora, Colorado, theatre shooting on July 19, 2012 that left 12 people  dead and 70 people wounded.

"Whenever we hear about these senseless acts of violence, it makes us  both furious and sad at the same time," said Louisiana Indian-American  Governor Bobby Jindal, from the scene of the shooting.

"This is an awful night for Lafayette, this is an awful night for Louisiana, this is an awful night for the United States. But we will get through this," Jindal, who is one of the 16 Republican presidential hopefuls, also praised the first responders.

"I want to praise the law enforcers who ran toward danger," Jindal said. "This is a time for us to come together. What we can do now is pray. We can hug these families, shower them with love, thoughts and prayers”, he added.


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