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Posted: September 29, 2017

Officers shoot at actor portraying robber in movie scene, police say


Officers shoot at actor portraying robber in movie scene, police say
An actor points a prop pistol during the Dillinger Days event January 22, 2011, in Tucson, Arizona.

By Crystal Bonvillian, Cox Media Group National Content Desk


An Indiana movie scene got a little too real Tuesday for an actor portraying a robber, as officers opened fire on him. 

A production company was shooting the scene just before 7 p.m. at the Back Step Brewing Company in Crawfordsville, according to officials with the Indiana State Police. A concerned citizen, unaware of the movie shoot, called 911 when he saw a man walk into the bar wearing a ski mask and wielding a gun.

“Police arrived shortly after receiving the call and saw a subject backing out of the door with the mask on and still holding the gun,” police officials said in a statement

The Crawfordsville officers told the man to drop the gun, and he turned toward them, the weapon still in hand. 

“The officers felt their lives were in danger and fired at the suspect,” according to the statement. “The subject dropped the gun and pulled off the mask while telling the officers, ‘This is a movie set.’”

No one was hurt in the shooting. The actor, identified as Jim Duff, was taken into custody briefly until the officers could confirm that the robbery was fake. 

State police investigators were called to investigate the shooting.

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Sgt. Kim Riley, a spokesperson for the state police, told WXIN in Indianapolis that members of the public should do what officers instruct them to do, and should never turn toward an officer while holding a gun. 

“He was the only person that backed out, the only one that came out, and he was in a ski mask and holding a weapon,” Riley told the news station. “Whether it’s real or not, you don’t know that at the time.”

The gun was a movie prop, police said. 

Philip Demoret, owner of the production company, Montgomery County Movies, said he was grateful no one was injured. The crew and other actors were inside the bar at the time of Duff’s encounter with police. 

“We could not see the police, so when the actor left the building, we had no knowledge any police had even arrived at the scene,” Demoret told WXIN. “The bad part is all the cameras and everything were inside the bar. So, there was nothing outside telling people that this was a film set.”

Neither Demoret’s production company nor the bar owners warned local law enforcement or area businesses about the film shoot, state police officials said

In a statement on Montgomery County Movies’ Facebook page, Demoret thanked the Crawfordsville Police Department for its prompt response to what officers thought was a crime being committed. 

“Had it been a real robbery, the police were quick to the scene, and the situation would have been diffused promptly,” the statement read

He also said that the company is working with police to put in place a plan so no similar incidents occur in the future. 

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