Police officers mistook an actor portraying a burglar for an actual armed robber and opened fire on him in a central Indiana bar Tuesday.
Montgomery County Movies was filming a crime scene at the Backstep Brewing Company in Crawfordsville, Ind., around 7 p.m. when the shots rang out, Indiana State Police said.
The staged scene so closely resembled reality that a passerby called 911 to report what they believed was a robbery in progress.
When police arrived at the scene, a man emerged from the bar’s back door wearing a ski mask and carrying a handgun.
Police opened fire on the subject, whom they identified as actor Jim Duffy.
Officers allegedly ordered Duffy to drop his gun, which was really a prop, police said. He then turned toward officers, causing them to fear for their lives and fire at Duffy.
The subject then dropped the gun, pulled off his mask, and explained to officers that they were on the scene of a movie set, police said in a release.
No one was injured, police said.
Police said that neither the production company nor the bar owners had notified police about the film shoot, and confusion ensued.
Police took Duffy into custody until his story could be authenticated.
Montgomery County Movies thanked the Crawfordsville Police Department for its response to the incident.
“Had it been a real robbery, the police were quick to the scene, and the situation would have been diffused promptly,” the statement said.
They described the scene that caused the false alarm.
“During the scene, a masked robber was supposed to flee the place after being intimidated by the patrons inside. Once outside, from what witnesses could hear and see, the actor complied with the police, removed his mask, and a gunshot was fired.”
The company said it was working with local law enforcement officials to make sure no similar misunderstandings occur.
At least no one was injured. This could have turned out to be a much more tragic story.