Considering what happened last year in Colorado at a screening of The Dark Knight Rises, you can't blame movie theater patrons for being a little on edge.

According to MSN, Iron Man 3 patrons at the Goodrich Capital 8 Theatres in Jefferson City, MO were frightened last weekend when a costumed team entered the theater in "black tactical gear and carrying fake M-4 rifles and 9-millimeter handguns."

There was also someone dressed as Iron Man, but it was the guns that freaked people out. Some theatergoers called 911. Officers who arrived on scene were prepared to take down a real shooter, and said afterward that — had an off-duty officer been present — an actor with a fake gun may have actually been shot and killed. "It's an unfortunate lack of wisdom in this particular judgement that hopefully will never occur again," Jefferson City Police Capt. Doug Shoemaker told ABC 17 (via MSN).

Theater management posted an apology/explanation letter on Facebook:

"To our customers:
We apologize and are sympathetic to those who felt they were in harm’s way with our character promotion for Iron Man 3. This was not a publicity stunt. We have worked with the Cosplacon group on many movies to dress up and help entertain our customers. We have had many complaints about the members dressed specifically as S.H.I.E.L.D. operatives carrying fake guns. We didn’t clearly tell our customers and some people didn’t realize it was for entertainment purposes only. We apologize that police were called to come out to our theater. We have a wonderful working relationship with the Jefferson City Police Department. Going forward we will take the necessary steps to make sure this doesn’t happen again. Security and safety for our customers is our number one priority.

Sincerely,
Capital 8, Goodrich Quality Theaters"

The actors didn't mean any harm, they were just there for entertainment. But yeah, some advance communication might've helped. Not everyone takes one quick look at a gun and realizes “Oh, that’s fake. It's all for show." The theater is lucky no one had a heart attack!

Sources: Facebook, MSN