'Dead Man Down' shooting location becomes real murder scene

Police investigatea fatal shooting Monday outside this bar in Frankford where the movie “Dead Man Down” is to be filmed. JOSEPH kACZMAREK / fOR THE dAILY nEWS
Police investigatea fatal shooting Monday outside this bar in Frankford where the movie “Dead Man Down” is to be filmed. JOSEPH kACZMAREK / fOR THE dAILY nEWS
Posted: May 08, 2012

IN AN EERIE TWIST of fate, an 18-year-old was gunned down Monday afternoon on an East Frankford corner, steps away from where scenes from “Dead Man Down,” a mob thriller starring Colin Farrell, was scheduled to be filmed Tuesday morning.

At least six shots rang out at Tackawanna and Kinsey streets about 4 p.m., just after the youth stepped outside a corner grocery store, cops said. He was hit three times in the torso and staggered about half a block to the Kinsey and Ditman streets before collapsing.

The teen was taken to Temple University Hospital, where he was pronounced dead at 5:16 p.m., said police, who did not identify him Monday.

About 8 p.m., as crime-scene investigators continued working the homicide scene, marked by the victim’s bloody clothes on the sidewalk and six shell casings where the gunfire erupted, production assistants for the film, along with police traffic units to enforce temporary parking restrictions, arrived on the block.

The oddity of the situation wasn’t lost on a production assistant, Sean Traynor, 25.

“Dead man down,” Traynor said, shaking his head, as he waited with other crew members outside the filming location at Global Dye Works, on Worth Street near Kinsey, about a block from where the murder victim fell. “Irony.”

The shooting stemmed from an argument, police said. A witness saw the shooter run north on Tackawanna Street and enter a house with two other men, Chief Inspector Scott Small said.

The witness alerted police to the address, and they took all three into custody and found a handgun in a closet inside the house.

Police were interviewing the three men Monday night and working to determine if the weapon that police found was the one used in the slaying.

Another movie-crew member, Chase B., said he had been scoping out the area and setting up Monday afternoon when gunfire erupted. As he watched medics work on the bloodied shooting victim, he pulled out his camera to film.

“It’s pretty surreal,” he said. “It all just happened ... it’s crazy.”

Scott Faust, another production assistant for “Dead Man Down,” said when he arrived Monday night to begin setting up that he was shocked to come across a real murder scene.

“It makes you take things a little more seriously,” said Faust, 28. “What drives people to literally say, ‘I’m gonna make sure you no longer breathe’? That’s just a lot of weight.”

In the film, about a woman seeking revenge on a crime boss, Philly’s streets are used as a substitute for New York. The movie is filled with shooting scenes, and several of them have been filmed in Philly, including one at 17th and Walnut streets last week.

“Dead Man Down” coproducer Joseph Zolfo told CBS 3 Monday morning that Philadelphia is a great place to film because the city is more accepting of staged gunbattles. n

Contact Morgan Zalot at 215-854-5928 or zalotm@phillynews.com.

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