The 19-year-old man claimed he was using the scope on his airsoft rifle to get a better look at the film shoot in Olds, Alta. in June 2022
Fiction quickly turned to reality for staff of the HBO hit series The Last of Us when a gunman was seen pointing a firearm at an Olds, Alta. film set, court heard Monday.
And the popular new show’s Alberta production had to be shut down for 90 minutes as Mounties moved in to make an arrest, executive producer Rose Lam testified.
Lam told Calgary regional Crown prosecutor Alyx Nanji that the delay in filming cost US$54,000 just in salary for actors and support crew, as staff were shepherded to a safe location.
Man says he was using scope on airsoft rifle to get better view of film shoot
Among those who had to take cover were show stars Pedro Pascal and Bella Ramsey, said head of security Dustin Austin, who was alerted to an armed man in a second-floor window overlooking the production in Olds on June 1, 2022.
But Reece Wadden, who faces three charges of mischief, unlawful use of an imitation firearm to commit mischief and possession of a weapon for a dangerous purpose, denied intending to harm anyone.
Wadden, 19, said he was simply using the scope on his airsoft rifle, which looks like a real assault weapon, to get a better look at the film shoot as it took place shortly after midnight outside his 51st Street second-floor apartment in the central Alberta town.
“I was pointing the gun at my window sill,” he told defence lawyer Peter Tesi.
“You were not pointing at the crew?” Tesi asked.
“No,” said Wadden.
Crew of approximately 300 people ‘was basically in lockdown’
Lam said the incident interrupted the filming of a scene in the first episode, in which protagonists played by Pascal and Nico Parker are fleeing infected humans when a police car crashes into their pickup and explodes.
She told Nanji the incident with Wadden meant they were only able to get one take of the scene that night.
Lam also told the prosecutor the incident was frightening to the entire crew of approximately 300 people.
“We all felt we were in danger, serious danger,” she said.
“Everybody was basically in lockdown.”
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Costume assistant Steven Oben was the first person to see a rifle in a second-floor window pointed at members of the film crew just up the street from where he was.
“I saw in a second-floor window what I thought to be some sort of gun,” he told Nanji.
“I turned to the person next to me and said, ‘Am I crazy, or is that a gun in the window?’ and he said ‘That’s a gun.’”
Oben said the individual was “just looking down the barrel into the street.”
“I was scared that somebody was gonna get hurt,” he said.
RCMP Const. Mitchell Price, who arrested Wadden shortly after the incident was reported, said he found the airsoft rifle, which closely resembled his own service weapon, inside the accused’s residence.
Firearms expert Const. Stefan Ciccone said the gun could cause serious harm if a projectile struck someone in the eye.
Provincial court Judge Brian Stevenson will hear final arguments from Nanji and Tesi on Tuesday morning.
Source: calgary herald