10 Investigates history of accused movie theater shooter Curtis Reeves

11:39 PM, Jan 14, 2014   |    comments
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Tampa, Florida -- As accused movie theater shooter Curtis Reeves tried to get out of jail on bond Tuesday, his attorney talked about his close ties to the community, the fact that he retired from the Tampa Police department in 1993 and headed up security at Bush Gardens for several years.

10 Investigates Reeves' previous employment with the Tampa Police Department. After going through more than 300 pages of his personnel file, we found mostly high praise with descriptions like: "I have not worked with anyone who is more and in control during a crisis incident," "Highly competent," and someone who was "great in a crisis."

However, there were some negative comments -- including when he was first on the force almost 50 years ago -- that noted Reeves occasionally "allowed his temper to detrimentally affect his manner of dealing with his supervisors" and because of his high professional standards it was noted in a review from the 1980's that Reeves could be "perceived by the public as arrogant and self-serving," and also Reeves has "inflexibility that sometimes interferes with a resolution."

But former coworkers we talked with had glowing things to say about him and couldn't believe Reeves was involved in a shooting like this. 

Thom Stork, the CEO of the Florida Aquarium, told us, "I was saddened when I got that news last night. I knew Cutis for several years. He worked at Bush Gardens, where he was head of security and I was head of marketing.'"

Stork described Reeves as a "very straightforward business security guy. I mean, he was a police officer. He was no-nonsense, but was responsible for the safety of millions of guests that visited Bush Gardens and a few thousand employees." 

Stork adds, "That was a big job and he did a very good job." We asked Stork if Reeves was short-fused and he told us, "Not at all. I would say he was very businesslike in the work he did.

We also talked to several former police officers who say Curtis Reeves was a cop's cop and something must have snapped for him to shoot and kill a man over texting in a theater.

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