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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. 

Family given house after losing their home in fire

Published: Sunday, December 17, 2017 @ 3:27 AM

File photo.  (Photo by Scott Barbour/Getty Images)
Scott Barbour/Getty Images
File photo. (Photo by Scott Barbour/Getty Images)(Scott Barbour/Getty Images)

A family whose house burned, during which the father also suffered burns while saving his son and sister from the flames, were gifted a new house Saturday.

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Ronald Warren Williamson III suffered third-degree burns in the November fire, according to WTVG

The family received enough votes through a real estate company contest which gave a house to the winner.

"We're just very fortunate for everybody in the community for the way they've all come together," mother Stacey Kennedy told WTVG. "It's just amazing."

WWE's Vince McMahon to give football another shot, may bring back XFL

Published: Sunday, December 17, 2017 @ 1:26 AM

12 Jul 2000: Vince McMahon talks during the XFL Press Conference at the House of Blues in Los Angeles, California. (Photo: Tom Hauck  / Allsport via Getty Images)
Tom Hauck/Getty Images
12 Jul 2000: Vince McMahon talks during the XFL Press Conference at the House of Blues in Los Angeles, California. (Photo: Tom Hauck / Allsport via Getty Images)(Tom Hauck/Getty Images)

Vince McMahon, owner and creative head of World Wrestling Entertainment, is preparing a new professional football league.

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McMahon started the XFL in 2001, splitting ownership with NBC. The league debuted to massive ratings and hype, with commercials promising a harder hitting brand of football and sexier cheerleaders. But the quality of play suffered greatly from the lack of preparation time for players, as well as the lack of big-name players from the NFL or college, and led to the league lasting only one season.

The story was first told by writer Brad Shepard on Twitter. Wrestling writer David Bixenspan later contacted WWE, which confirmed McMahon has established a new corporation called Alpha Entertainment. 

Bixenspan also reported McMahon had reacquired trademarks for the XFL shortly after ESPN aired a documentary on the league earlier in 2017. Whether McMahon’s league would be called the XFL is unknown.

The Washington Post wrote McMahon’s interest in a return to football was fueled by his participation in the ESPN documentary. Despite the league costing NBC and WWE $35 million in 2001, McMahon tried to find another channel for the league after NBC canceled it and only shut the league down after he was unable to find a television deal.

The XFL branded itself as a harder hitting and sexier version of pro football, and the NFL had become less physical. The marketing campaign behind the league’s debut was one of the most hyped in history and included professional wrestlers from the WWE. 

The timing of McMahon opening a new league could be due to the NFL’s ratings struggles and complaints about the league’s style of play after new rules have restricted how players tackle. National Anthem protests by players in the NFL have been controversial. Media outlets have differed on whether the protests have affected ratings. 

Players and owners were also targeted by President Donald Trump while he was campaigning during the Alabama Senate race. Vince McMahon’s wife Linda, a former WWE president, is a member of President Trump’s cabinet and head of the Small Business Administration. 

Bazooka turned in during San Francisco gun buyback 

Published: Sunday, December 17, 2017 @ 12:54 AM

A bazooka was one of the weapons turned in during a gun buyback event Saturday in San Francisco. (Photo: San Francisco Police Department)
A bazooka was one of the weapons turned in during a gun buyback event Saturday in San Francisco. (Photo: San Francisco Police Department)

Police took 271 guns off the street during a gun buyback event Saturday that netted an arsenal including a bazooka, cannon ball and assault rifles.

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“We got everything that you can name that could destroy a whole universe, and we get rid of them within hours," said Rudy Corpuz Jr. with United Playaz, a community group that helped organize the buyback with police.

There were no questions asked. People were given $100 for a handgun and $200 for assault weapons, according to the San Francisco Chronicle

The weapons will be destroyed.

Cruise ship with more than 300 sick passengers returns to Florida port

Published: Saturday, December 16, 2017 @ 11:38 PM

File photo.  (Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images)
Andrew Burton/Getty Images
File photo. (Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images)(Andrew Burton/Getty Images)

A Royal Caribbean cruise ship returned to Port Everglades today after more than 300 people became ill with a stomach virus.

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Cruise officials said there were 332 cases of the gastrointestinal illness, just under 6 percent of the more than 5,000 guests and crew aboard the Independence of the Seas, according to a CNN report.

The cruise left South Florida on Monday, and the illness began to spread by Wednesday, WSVN in Miami reported. Passengers were given over-the-counter medication, and staff quickly cleaned and disinfected the entire ship, a Royal Caribbean spokesperson said.

But passengers reported a not-so-memorable cruise.

"Imagine being in a waiting room and sitting next to five or six people all throwing up at the same time," passenger Cheryl Roberts told WSVN.

Roberts said all of the sick passengers she spoke to had lunch on the ship.

"We all didn’t eat off of the ship, and now we’re all either throwing up or we have horrible diarrhea," she said.

A Royal Caribbean statement said the cruise line is "taking steps like intensive sanitary procedures to minimize the risk of any further issues."