TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — The widow of a man shot and killed in a bay area movie theatre is launching a foundation to help children impacted by gun violence.
In February, a jury found Curtis Reeves not guilty in the 2014 shooting death of Chad Oulson in a Wesley Chapel movie theater. Reeves shot and killed Oulson after an argument over his cell phone use during the previews.
As a result of the tragedy and outcome of the trial, Nicole Oulson and her attorney TJ Grimaldi were determined to make a difference. On Thursday the two announced the launch of the Oulson Family Foundation.
“I wish with my whole heart that we did not need this foundation, and we didn’t have gun violence impacting children, but as we all know, every day we see it, and I want to do something to help,” Chad Oulson’s widow Nicole Oulson said.
“These last eight years have changed everyone that is associated with this case,” Attorney TJ Grimaldi said.
The goal of the foundation is to provide financial support to children who have been impacted by gun violence and crimes involving guns.
“I remember as I was going through the last eight years, the one thing that impacted me the most, was Alexis feeling all alone and telling me, why do I have to be so different from my friends,” Oulson said. “I had no one to reach out to, no one to connect her with to share her experiences so that she knew that she was not alone. And that’s part of the mission, is for other kids to know that they are not alone in this.”
While the foundation is in the early stages, they are launching a major fundraising effort to be able to provide children with financial support for medical bills, mental health counseling and tuition support.
Oulson said she wants to turn the horrible tragedy into something good and create a legacy in her husband’s memory.
“I want this to be a way to keep Chad’s memory alive. I don’t want him to be known or remembered for how he died, but for his legacy, and that we can do good, and make something good out of a bad situation,” Oulson said.