A film crew shooting a robbery scene without a permit at a liquor store in San Francisco's Cole Valley neighborhood almost caused a different kind of shooting by police who thought the robbery was real, a police captain said Thursday.
The incident was reported at 10:48 a.m. Wednesday at Alpha Market, located at 960 Cole St., said San Francisco police Capt. Denis O'Leary from the department's Park Station.
A passer-by called 911 and reported a masked gunman inside the store, O'Leary said.
Officers responded and found the man behind the store counter. He was pointing a gun at the ceiling of the store when the officers overpowered and disarmed him, O'Leary said.
At that point, the officers discovered the gun was a replica and that a crew was filming the scene from across the street. The Japan-based crew had gotten the store's permission to film but had not applied for a permit to shoot the scene from the San Francisco Film Commission, according to O'Leary.
Police confiscated the replica gun but did not arrest the man, a 41-year-old city resident.
"The guy's lucky he didn't get shot," he said.
Officers also reported the incident to the Film Commission, O'Leary said.