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*This story appeared in the 2010 Joke Issue.

After months of ballistics analysis, DNA testing and searches throughout all of West Philadelphia by both Penn and Philadelphia police, the man who shot an undercover state officer and a Drexel student in January at the Bridge Cinema De Lux revealed Monday night that he was just in the movie theater the whole damn time.

“To be honest, I can’t believe they never found me,” the shooter said, shrugging in confusion. “I didn’t think I’d have the chance to escape that night, so I sort of collapsed in defeat on one of those swanky couches.”

The shooter said he decided to stay after three hours of not being found.

“It appears that the suspect had actually never left the establishment,” Vice President for Public Safety Maureen Rush said, burying her head into her palms. “However, I’m proud of the effort made by Penn and Philadelphia Police ... to find him,” she added.

The Bridge’s general manager admitted there had been signs of the suspect’s whereabouts.

“I remember closing the theater and doing my final rounds through the auditoriums, and I thought I heard someone say ‘Avatar doesn’t deserve so much business,’” she said. “That’s when I first suspected something.”

“It wasn’t hard at all to hide from [the police],” the shooter said. “You know how they have those curtains near the screen, right? I just hid behind them,” he explained before breaking into hysterical laughter and offering up a high-five.

“The hardest part was living day-to-day in a movie theater,” he continued, explaining his routine of repeatedly watching the same eight movies and subsisting on popcorn and candy found underneath seats. “I couldn’t take it anymore. Plus, the iPad was just released,” he said.

The shooter said the movie season so far “has simply sucked,” aside from Martin Scorsese’s Shutter Island in which authorities failed to find a violent inmate.

“They had no leads, and no one sounded any kind of alarm or alert at all,” said the shooter, who praised the film for its realism.

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