Police say gunman at Nashville theater was killed as he exited back door

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- A man wielding a gun, a hatchet and pepper spray was killed inside a Tennessee movie theater on Wednesday after police responding to reports of an active shooter traded gunshots with the suspect, Nashville police said.

Nashville Police spokesman Don Aaron told reporters that one moviegoer was cut on a shoulder by a hatchet before police officers killed the 51-year-old suspect as he tried to go out the back door.

The wounded man had a superficial injury to his arm, fire department spokesman Brian Haas said.

No one has been transported to a hospital, Haas said, but three people -- including the man who suffered the cut from the hatchet -- suffered irritation from pepper spray apparently used by the suspect, who was wearing a surgical mask.

The suspect also had two backpacks with him, Aaron said. The bomb squad is going to destroy the bags, he said.

Police were called to the Carmike Hickory 8 movie theater complex in the Nashville suburb of Antioch at 1:15 p.m. CT. Two officers were already at the mall working a car accident when people came running toward them. The officers were inside the complex withing two minutes, Aaron said.

One officer entered the theater and exchanged fire with the gunman before backing away. The SWAT team arrived and had to don gas masks due to the heavy chemical spray in the theater, Aaron said. The man tried to flee out the back door.

A woman who worked at a Sprint store near the scene told CNN's Brooke Baldwin that about three hours earlier, a man with two backpacks tried to enter her store through their back door.

Antioch is a suburb of Nashville, about 15 miles southeast of the city.

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