Washington: The 58-year-old man who killed two people and injured nine others inside a movie theatre in US' Louisiana state, has been identified a drifter who tried to escape before turning the gun on himself, authorities said on Friday.

The incident took place on Thursday night at Grand Theatre 16 in Lafayette, a city of at least 120,000 people, when John Russel Houser opened fire.

Houser, originally from Alabama, had been in Lafayette since early July, staying at a local hotel, Lafayette police chief Jim Craft said on Friday.

Houser fired at least 13 rounds as the lights dimmed for the screening of "Trainwreck", CNN reported.

He had been staying at a motel in Lafayette, Louisiana where authorities found glasses and wigs for disguises.

"He's kind of a drifter," police chief Jim Craft told reporters, adding that Houser acted alone.

Houser apparently tried to flee the theater after shooting 13 rounds from a single handgun, killing two white females, aged 21 and 33, one of whom died in hospital, and injuring nine others before killing himself as police closed in.

"It appears he was intent on shooting and escaping," Clark said, adding: "The quick law enforcement response pushed him back into the theatre."