Local police rushed to an "active shooter" situation last weekend at a Missouri movie theater when an Iron Man 3 publicity stunt went horribly awry.
Actors dressed as S.H.I.E.L.D. agents from the blockbuster Marvel franchise — complete with faux assault rifles and sidearms — startled moviegoers, who no doubt still had fresh in their minds images of madman James Holmes, who dressed in full tactical gear when he killed 12 people at a Colorado movie theater last July.
At least one patron called police, who descended on the Capital 8 Theatres in Jefferson City ready for a firefight.
Retired war veteran and PTSD sufferer John Molock told ABC 17 News that the guns looked real to him:
We had just finished watching Iron Man 3. We're just getting into the car when I spotted a man in full assault gear, carrying what appeared to be a modified M-4 and 9 mm on his side.
Local police Captain Doug Shoemaker said:
We received a series of 911 calls stating that a man dressed in all black and body armor and a rifle was walking into Capital 8 Theaters. Everything was in place, it's the opening night of a superhero movie, it's somebody walking in all-dark clothes, everything pointed to bad things about to happen. There's really no good that can come of this.
Needless to say, the stunt was a bust.
Capital 8 Theatres made this apology on Facebook: