Crawfordsville, IN — In the United States, cops mistake innocent people for criminals and use deadly force against them—all too often. Also in the United States, cops shoot first and ask questions later. The story below is unique because it involves both shooting first and asking questions later and mistaking an innocent person for a criminal.
Last week, Montgomery County Movies was filming a scene at the Backstep Brewing Company on North Green Street in Crawfordsville, Indiana when a police officer responded to what he thought was a robbery in progress.
As ABC 7 reports, it must have been realistic, because someone called 911 to report a possible armed robbery, and when Crawfordsville police arrived, “a subject came out with a ski mask on carrying a handgun, and a shot was fired by police,” a statement from ISP said.
While the officer was certainly justified in pulling his gun on what he thought was an armed robber, firing a round at the man after they walked onto a cordoned off movie set was irresponsible and nearly led to the death of an innocent man.
As the video begins, the officer is walking up to the set when actor Jim Duff began “backing out of the door with the mask on and still holding the gun,” which was actually a movie prop, ISP said.
The officers yell at Duff to "drop the gun" and before he could comply, one of them fired off a round.
The officers told him to drop the gun, but the surprised actor just turned towards the officers, ISP said.
“The officers felt their lives were in danger and fired at the suspect. The subject dropped the gun and pulled off the mask while telling the officers this is a movie set.”
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Luckily for Duff, the officer was a lousy shot, otherwise, he'd be in the hospital right now or worse.
After the shooting, Montgomery County Movies made the following post on their Facebook page to let everyone know that they would not make the terrible decision of filming a robbery scene without first telling the police:
Montgomery County Movies would first of all like to thank the Crawfordsville Police Department for their hasty response to what they 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.
Movie officials did not physically see what transpired outside the location, except for what was visible through the glass doors entering the establishment.
During the scene, a masked robber was suppose 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.
Montgomery County Movies is currently working with local law enforcement to put a plan in place so this doesn’t happen again. Safety should be of the highest priority, and communication could have spared all of us from the incident, not just for MCM, but for anyone out there looking to make films.
No one was hurt in the incident.
Oddly enough, this is not the first time TFTP has reported on a police officer shooting at an actor they thought was a criminal.
Dushon Shepherd, 26, and Keenan Black, 39, both of Detroit, took part in the filming of a rap video in June. One scene in the video, in which Shepard and Black were actors, required them to pretend to carjack another person in an Aston Marton.
The duo donned their red bandanas and toy guns and acted out the scene by driving their doorless Jeep and running up to the sports car. They got out of the car, ran up to the Aston Martin — also occupied by an actor — and shots rang out. These shots, however, were not part of the film.
A Detroit cop ran up to the scene, thinking a real carjacking was taking place, and opened fire on who he thought were real carjackers. Luckily, none of those shots hit anyone as well.