A gunman has opened fire at a movie theater in the US state of Lousiana, killing at least two people and injuring seven others, before shooting himself, officials said.

The shooting took place on Thursday night at the Grand Theatre in the city of Lafayette, Clay Henry, vice president of operations for Acadian Ambulance, told the AP news agency.

Henry said people were brought to the hospital and that two, including the gunman, were pronounced dead on arrival.

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The local police chief said later that the death toll was three, including the shooter.

The Daily Advertiser quoted City Marshal Brian Pope as saying that the shooter turned the gun on himself after firing at the others, and that six people were injured.

The shooting happened about 20 minutes into a 7:00pm showing of the movie "Train Wreck," according to the newspaper, which quoted theatergoer Katie Domingue.

"We heard a loud pop we thought was a firecracker," Domingue told the newspaper. Domingue said she saw "an older white man" standing up and shooting down into the theater, but not in her direction.

"He wasn't saying anything. I didn't hear anybody screaming either," Domingue said.

Domingue told the newspaper she heard about six shots before she and her fiance ran to the nearest exit.

Source: Agencies