It had the look of a robbery in progress — a bad guy, wearing a mask, holding a gun.
So the cops shot at the robber. Only he wasn’t a robber. He was an actor.
And the robbery was a scene from a movie.
Thankfully, the bullet didn’t find its mark.
Never miss a local story.
Someone called 911 in the western Indiana town of Crawfordsville on Tuesday evening to report an apparent armed robbery in progress at Backstep Brewing Co., according to Fox 59 in Indianapolis.
The caller reported that a man walked into the bar wearing a ski mask and holding a gun.
When officers arrived, they saw the masked man leaving the bar, still holding the gun.
It was actor Jim Duff.
“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. Whether it’s real or not, you don’t know that at the time,” Sgt. Kim Riley of the Indiana State Police told the media.
Officers told Duff to drop the gun, and they say he turned toward them, the The Associated Press reported.
“When you’re told to do something, the one thing you don’t do is turn towards police while you’re holding a gun,” Riley said.
The police fired at Duff and missed. Duff dropped the gun — a prop — and pulled off his mask.
“This is a movie set,” Duff told the cops. It was not reported how calm he was when he said it.
Police placed him in custody until they figured out what was going on, according to Fox 59.
A production company named Montgomery County Movies had a film crew and actors and cameras set up inside the bar, none of which the police could see from the outside.
The movie folks didn’t know, either, that someone had called the cops.
“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,” Philip Demoret, owner of the production company, told the TV station.
Police said neither the movie folks nor bar owners told police or other business owners about the film shoot.
The bar issued a statement about the incident on its Facebook page Wednesday.
“The events of Tuesday evening were unfortunate, but we are relieved no one was injured,” the post said.
“Backstep Brewing Company strongly believes in being an active community member. We host yoga, trivia, and fundraisers just to name a few. So, when Montgomery County Movies approached us about filming a scene at our location during closed hours, we agreed.
“None of our staff was involved with the film; we simply provided the space for the group to perform their art. Unfortunately, character portrayal was mistaken for a crime in progress, and the police were called from a passerby. The Crawfordsville Police quickly responded and intervened with two of the MCM actors.
“As firefighters, we work alongside police and understand the life threatening situations they face everyday. Backstep Brewing Company will continue to support local artists. However, should we receive a similar request in the future, we will require a script and project plan to be submitted and approved by our attorney.”
Movie-maker Demoret was grateful no one was hurt.
“We’re actually going to work with the Crawfordsville Police Department to make sure this does not happen again,” he told the TV station.