The video is shocking: A 16-year-old boy posing as an armed terrorist at a busy Phoenix intersection.
Police said his uncle, 39-year-old Michael Turley, is the mastermind behind the camera.
In the video, Turley admits he and the actor, his nephew, put themselves in "great danger."
Retired Phoenix Police Sgt. Andy Hill tells CBS 5 News, it could've had a deadly ending.
"How fortunate that he and that young man, he used to help him, did not get killed," he said.
That was Hill's "first response" to seeing the YouTube video of the same name.
His former department said Turley had his teen nephew pose as a terrorist, holding a fake rocket-propelled grenade launcher near Bell Road and 33rd Avenue while he filmed the hoax to test Phoenix police's response time to the situation.
"The way citizens are today and with the right to bear arms and after 9/11 and after all of the things we've been through in this country, I'm surprised that someone didn't come out there with a gun and take him down at gunpoint - if not shoot him for having that type of a weapon," Hill said.
He told CBS 5 News that they likely would've had every right had they done so.
"If you're in fear for your life and someone threatens to use deadly force against a third party, an innocent third party, you're more than justified under the law to do that," Hill said.
As for Turley's claim that he's an independent filmmaker, Hill said Turley's social experiment doesn't trump public safety.
"He didn't have proper permits and he didn't go ahead and seek to make sure the area was safe," Hill said. "What he did was go out and scare people half to death and, he's lucky that no one did anything."
Turley is now facing several charges including knowingly giving a false impression of a terrorist, endangerment, contributing to the delinquency of a minor, and misconduct involving a simulated explosive.
Phoenix police said they received at least nine 911 calls on July 28 from people who witnessed the hoax.
They're asking those callers to contact them, to help with their investigation.
When contacted, Turley refused to talk with the media.
Copyright 2012 CBS 5 (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.
An Arizona elementary teacher is facing drug charges after Lake Havasu City police say she was selling prescription pills. The News-Herald reports that Stefanie Courson was arrested Friday following aMore >
Stefanie Courson was arrested Friday following a month-long undercover operation.More >
Arizonans who have individual health insurance plans that don't meet new standards under the Affordable Care Act won't be allowed to renew them after Jan. 1 despite a call from President Barack Obama forMore >
The state Department of Insurance announced Friday that is was urging the state's health insurance companies to instead renew existing plans that don't comply with the new law early.More >
Sunday, December 8 2013 9:55 AM EST2013-12-08 14:55:24 GMT
Fans clung onto hope as long as they could, waiting for a miraculous Sun Devils comeback. "We got the fourth quarter," Dalton Lucht said. "After this, we're a fourth quarter team." Another quarter didn'tMore >
The Sun Devils still have the PAC-12 South crown and as the saying goes, there's always next year.More >
Friday, December 6 2013 9:33 PM EST2013-12-07 02:33:31 GMT
A naked woman died early Saturday morning after being hit by a car in the middle of Thomas road overnight in Phoenix.Phoenix police spokesman Lt. Steve Roser said the 37-year-old woman was lying in theMore >
A woman who fled the scene of a hit-and-run crash that left a naked woman dead was sentenced Friday to 10 days in jail and three years of probation.More >
Friday, December 6 2013 9:20 PM EST2013-12-07 02:20:41 GMT
To shoot, or not to shoot, wasn't a question for a Peoria man who said he was about to be attacked by two vicious dogs. But, the owner of the wounded animal feels her neighbor was too quick to pull theMore >
To shoot, or not to shoot, wasn't a question for a Peoria man who said he was about to be attacked by two vicious dogs. But, the owner of the wounded animal feels her neighbor was too quick to pull the trigger on her family pet.More >
Arizona remains among the top three states in the nation for immigration-related prosecutions despite a drop in such prosecutions in the state. The Arizona Daily Star reports that half of all criminalMore >
half of all criminal defendants and 97 percent of petty-offense defendants in the state's federal courts are prosecuted for immigration violations.More >