Three college students with guns caused quite a commotion in Great Neck Plaza on Friday afternoon, Dec. 11. It’s the biggest drama to unfold around the Great Neck Playhouse in a long time. What appeared to be a serious incident turned out to be an innocent school project.
The Queensborough Community College students were filming a movie in the parking lot behind the Bow Tie Squire Cinemas on Maple Drive and Middle Neck Road with Airsoft Guns when police were called.
The caller thought the guns were real according to police officers. Airsoft Guns are very lifelike, but are made of plastic and shoot plastic BBs. What differentiates their look from real guns is their orange tip. However, the student filmmakers colored the tips black to make them look more realistic for the film.
“The police were called because the guns looked so real,” said Officer Edward Sturm from the Sixth Precinct. “It could have been a serious problem in this day and age,” the officer continued. “Fortunately, it was innocent and the kids immediately put the guns down and danger was averted. It wasn’t the smartest thing to do in a public space.”
The students’ identities have not been released, but one of the students graduated from high school in Great Neck and still lives in town.
The two 21-year-olds and one 20-year-old were issued appearance tickets for filming without a permit and their guns were confiscated because they couldn’t show ownership. The property bureau is storing them for safe keeping. If the guns are not claimed, they will be destroyed. In four to six weeks, the students will appear in court and each will have to pay approximately $75 to satisfy the village imposed fee.