An Arizona carjacking suspect shot himself in the head as Fox News broadcast the end of a police chase west of Phoenix. Fox anchor Shep Smith apologized, saying, “We really messed up.”
Update at 5:46 p.m. ET: Fox’s executive vice president of news editorial, Michael Clemente, issued a statement, the Associated Press says.
“We took every precaution to avoid any such live incident by putting the helicopter pictures on a five second delay,” he said. “Unfortunately, this mistake was the result of a severe human error and we apologize for what viewers ultimately saw on the screen.”
KSAZ-TV, the Fox affiliate in Phoenix, was providing the live feed from its helicopter but was not broadcasting it locally.
Update at 4:54 p.m. ET: Fox affiliate KSAZ-TV reports that the suspect’s body is still lying in the field where he fell. Police still have not confirmed that he is dead.
Update at 4:20 p.m. ET: Here’s what some viewers tweeted afterward (h/t Poynter):
Geraldo Rivera: Oh man just watched that car chase kid
in Arizona shoot himself in the head. Sick to my stomach. Feel so sorry for my
HuffPostMedia: WOW. Shep Smith just narrated the car chase suspect shooting himself in the head. ‘Get off it!’ he screamed, and cut to a commercial.
Michael van Poppel: Holy crap. The suspect just killed himself on live TV.
Tom Vear: Cannot believe i just watched a live car chase for an hour and then all
the sudden watched him shoot himself in the head.. Crazy.
Sabrina Guma: Thank you #FoxNews for showing a LIVE car chase where obviously a
mentally unstable man gets out of the car and shoots himself in the
Amanda Palumbo: Just saw a guy shoot himself after a chase on a live feed. Shows how
careful you have to be with live television. Wow.
Update at 3:38 p.m. ET: Fox News anchor Shep Smith apologized for airing the shocking sight, saying, “We really messed up.”
“That didn’t belong on TV. I personally apologize to you that that happened. That will not happen again on my watch, and I am sorry.”
According to an account by Mediabistro, which has Smith’s full apology, viewers could hear the studio crew members gasp and Smith say, “Get off, get off, get off,” asking the control room to cut away.
After jumping out of the car, the suspect ran down a dirt road, put the gun to his head, then slumped to the ground.
Police have not identified the man or confirmed that he is dead.
Original post: An Arizona carjacking suspect shot himself in the head on live TV after a police chase near Phoenix, according to Fox News.
His condition is not known.
The suspect fired shots at pursuing officers along westbound Interstate 10. After exiting he drove along dirt road in the town of Salome, Fox reports.
Fox anchor Shep Smith was narrating the chase when the suspect shot himself. He shouted, “Get off it!” and cut to a commercial.
The suspect stole a red Dodge Caliber in Phoenix and led police on a high-speed chase that lasted about an hour.
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