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

Published: Friday, September 29, 2017 @ 10:29 AM

Police: Officers Shoot at Actor Playing Robber in Movie Scene

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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Toys R Us founder Charles Lazarus dies at 94

Published: Thursday, March 22, 2018 @ 4:42 PM

Toys ‘R’ Us May Close All U.S. Stores

Charles Lazarus, who founded what would become Toys R Us in 1948, has died, company officials confirmed Thursday. He was 94.

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The news came just days after officials with the toy store chain announced it would be closing its U.S. stores.

“There have been many sad moments for Toys R Us in recent weeks, and none more heartbreaking than today’s news about the passing of our beloved founder, Charles Lazarus,” Toys R Us officials wrote Thursday in a tweet. “Our thoughts and prayers are with Charles’ family and loved ones.”

Michael Goldstein, a friend of Lazarus’ who formerly served as chairman of Toys R Us, told Bloomberg News that Lazarus died Thursday in Manhattan.

"He was the father of the toy business," Goldstein told CNN Money. "He knew the toys and loved the toys and loved the kids who would shop in the stores. His face lit up when he watched kids playing with toys."

>> Related: Toys R Us closings: What happens to 31,000 employees, your gift cards?

In a 1986 article, The Atlantic magazine credited Lazarus as “the person most responsible for loosening Santa’s grip” on the toy industry, expanding sales from a holiday-only to a year-round business.

Lazarus served as a cryptographer during World War II and took over his family’s bicycle shop in Washington D.C. after he returned to the U.S. in 1923, according to The Atlantic. He started to sell baby furniture, The Atlantic reported, but he noticed that he rarely got return customers because of the sturdiness of his stock.

>> Related: Amazon looking to buy abandoned Toys R Us storefronts

"Toys are a great kind of thing to sell, because they don't last that long," he told the magazine in 1986.

Lazarus served as head of Toys R Us through the company’s sale in 1966 to Interstate Department Stores Inc., and through Interstate’s bankruptcy in 1974, according to Bloomberg.

Toys R Us dominated the toy store business in the 1980s and early '90s, when it was one of the first of the category killers -- big stores that are so totally devoted to one thing and have such impressive selection that they drive smaller competitors out of business. Lazarus, who remained at the helm until 1994, stacked the merchandise high to give shoppers the feeling it had an infinite number of toys.

>> Related: Toys R Us closing sales: What you need to know when liquidation begins

He stepped down as chairman of the company in 1998, Bloomberg reported.

Officials with Toys R Us announced last week that the company planned to close or sell its 735 stores nationwide, including its Babies R Us stores. The superstore chain could no longer bear the weight of its heavy debt load and relentless trends that hurt its business, namely competition from the likes of Amazon, discounters like Walmart, and mobile games.

Toys "R" Us - Fast Facts
The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

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National Security Adviser Gen. H.R. McMaster out; former U.S. ambassador John Bolton in

Published: Thursday, March 22, 2018 @ 6:37 PM

Who Is H.R. McMaster, Trump’s National Security Adviser

National Security Adviser Gen. H.R. McMaster is resigning from the Trump administration and will be replaced by former U.S. ambassador John Bolton, according to a tweet Thursday afternoon from President Donald Trump.

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National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster attends a meeting between President Donald Trump and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in the Oval Office at the White House on March 20, 2018 in Washington, D.C.(Pool/Getty Images)

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Toys R Us closing sales: What you need to know when liquidation begins

Published: Thursday, March 22, 2018 @ 9:48 AM

Toys ‘R’ Us May Close All U.S. Stores

Shoppers looking for a bargain lined up at Toys R Us stores across the country to cash in on the liquidation sale that was expected to begin Thursday.

However, the sales have been postponed, according to multiple reports.

WYFF reported that a sign on the Greenville location stated that the liquidation sale was postponed until further notice.

The sales are now expected to start Friday, CNN Money reported.

But no matter when the sales start, experts told CNN Money that bargain hunters should be ready to go as soon as the sales begin.

Toys R Us announced last week it was closing or selling all of its stores in the United States, but shoppers need to act fast.

MORE: Toys R Us store locator

Industry experts say shelves will clear out quickly and the sale may only last about 30 days.

Inventory on the most popular toys are already slim, and whatever is left will be the first to go.

People with Toys R Us gift cards and Endless Earnings Gift Cards should use those first.

Toys R Us will not accept them after April 20.

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Starting Thursday, stores will not be accepting coupons or rewards.

If you have a return, Toys R Us will accept items for the next 30 days, but anything purchased during the liquidation sale is final and cannot be returned.

Amazon, one of Toys R Us’ most fierce competitors, is apparently considering buying up some of the empty store fronts once Toys R Us officially closes.

Bloomberg is reporting that Amazon would like to expand its brick-and-mortar presence by acquiring some of those locations.

MORE: What happens to Toys R Us employees, gift cards?

The Seattle-based company recently bought Whole Foods and opened its own line of bookstores and convenience stores.

Toys R Us is closing 735 locations, and will lay off about 31,000 employees.

Before you shop, check your location. Some local stores were part of the initial closing announcement and have been liquidating for weeks.

EMERYVILLE, CA - MARCH 15: Customers enter a Toys R Us store on March 15, 2018 in Emeryville, California. Toys R Us filed for liquidation in a U.S. Bankruptcy court and plans to close 735 stores leaving 33,000 workers without employment. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)(Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
Cox Media Group National Content Desk contributed to this report.

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McMaster out as Trump hires John Bolton as new National Security Adviser

Published: Thursday, March 22, 2018 @ 2:34 PM

President Donald Trump said on Thursday that he will be replacing his National Security Adviser, General H.R. McMaster, replacing him with former United Nations Ambassador John Bolton, in another big shake up on the White House staff.

Making the announcement on Twitter, the President said McMaster had “done an outstanding job,” though there had been reports for months that Mr. Trump was unhappy with the Army General, who is reportedly expected now to retire from the military.

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