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One Killed, Many Injured in Shootings at ‘Boyz N the Hood’ Film Premieres

July 13, 1991 GMT

LOS ANGELES (AP) _ Moviegoers panicked and fearful theater managers shut down several film houses when violence erupted during opening night of the inner city drama, ″Boyz N the Hood.″ One death was reported in a shooting near Chicago.

Ten people were shot Friday night in separate incidents at three Southern California theaters, a woman was wounded in Sacramento and two people were shot in Las Vegas.

Elsewhere, a Chicago man was shot to death early this morning after a midnight showing of the film in a suburban drive-in; and six people were injured, two critically, in a shooting outside a theater in Minneapolis. Violence also was reported at theaters showing the movie in Wisconsin and Texas.

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″Boyz N the Hood,″ a critically acclaimed urban saga, opened Friday night at more than 800 theaters amid stepped-up security and concerns the movie would attract gang members.

The film, directed by 23-year-old John Singleton, is a pacifistic parable about how violence among black teens in South Central Los Angeles leads nowhere.

But violence accompanied the opening of the film in many areas.

Michael Booth, 23, was pronounced dead at a hospital after being shot at the Halsted Twin Outdoor Theater in the Chicago suburb of Riverdale, authorities said. Police said they had made no arrests and had few details of the incident.

At Universal City near Hollywood, five people were shot in and near the 18- theater Cineplex Odeon complex, which later canceled all future showings of the film. Pandemonium filled the darkened moviehouse as patrons fled their seats, said sheriff’s Sgt. Larry Lincoln.

″People were stampeding. People were running into the bathroom,″ said moviegoer Sally Dorsey. ″I did too. Some people thought it might have been firecrackers.″

A 23-year-old man was arrested for investigation of possession of firearms, Lincoln said, but investigators later concluded he was not involved in the shootings themselves.

Sheriff’s Deputy Roger Hom said the shooting was gang-related but could not immediately provide more details. ″The movie was about gangs,″ Hom said. ″With the incidents occuring elsewhere, you can draw your own conclusions.″

One of the worst incidents occurred in Minneapolis, where one shot was fired in the downtown Skyway Theater, and part of the crowd spilled out into the street, Deputy Police Chief David Dobrotka said.

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A vehicle then drove by and multiple shots were fired, he said. Two men were in critical condition at Hennepin County Medical Center and two others were in satisfactory satisfactory, nursing supervisor Mary Anne Frank said. All four suffered gunshot wounds. Another person broke a leg when she was hit by a car while running away; a sixth suffered what were described as minor injuries.

Two people were wounded, one seriously, while standing in line to watch the movie in Chino, 35 miles east of Los Angeles, said Chino police Lt. C.B. Stueland.

″The management of the movie theater shut down on a voluntary basis,″ Stueland said. No arrests were reported, he said.

In Upland, 40 miles east of Los Angeles, three people were injured in a shooting related to the showing of the movie, said police Lt. Rudy Mora. He did not believe any of the victims were seriously injured.

In Sacramento, a 19-year-old woman was shot six times in the chest and shoulder when two young men opened fire on deputies trying to break up fights outside the theater, authorities said.

The woman was hospitalized in good condition today. An 18-year-old man was arrested.

In Nevada, two people were shot at a drive-in that was showing the film, said Sgt. Tom Collins of the North Las Vegas Police Department. No arrests were reported.

Dozens of people waiting to see the movie in Racine, Wis., stormed a theater lobby after about 200 people sneaked into a side door and managers canceled the Friday showing, said police Capt. Richard Klofanda.

At least $2,400 in cash and goods were stolen from a candy counter, and windows were broken, but no one was seriously injured and no arrests were made, he said.

Police in Texas City, Texas, arrested a man suspected of firing two shots inside a shopping mall movie theater during a showing of the film. No injuries were reported.

In Joliet, Ill., about 300 moviegoers were moved out of a theater Friday night after a fight erupted before a showing of the film. About 50 police officers were called to the scene but there were no reports of injuries or arrests.

A scuffle erupted at the Mann’s Chinese theater in Hollywood where film legends like John Wayne and Marilyn Monroe have their handprints cast in concrete. But there were no woundings or arrests there, police said.

7-13-91 1133EDT