Blake Newton and Jamar Washington, who pleaded guilty Monday, wore the masks into a theater in the Town Center area.
Witnesses said they saw two men wearing clown masks walk into the theater. One stayed downstairs while the other walked upstairs. Both were looking at people in the audience according to court documents.
One witness told police, “Everyone began screaming. People were jumping over one another to get out.”
Washington and Newton were caught immediately afterward. Two small knives were found in Washington’s backpack police say.
The incident happened only a few months after the movie theater massacre in Aurora, Co. Twelve people were killed and more than 50 were wounded in the shooting.
A Virginia Beach native was among those injured; he was shot twice in his shoulder.
In a jailhouse interview shortly after his arrest, Washington told NewsChannel 3 he hadn’t heard about the shooting. Washington said he would have never gone into the movie theater if he had known, and he never meant to hurt anyone.
Washington said he had worn the mask earlier at malls and on buses and received compliments in an interview with police filed in court documents. He said he was only there to see a movie.
Both men will be back in Virginia Beach court on June 18.
NewsChannel 3 also learned that Newton is facing a long list of charges in Norfolk from an incident in January. One of the charges is wearing a mask in public. There are 16 others, including robbery and brandishing a machete.