Fox News has apologized for airing the suicide of a suspected carjacker who fatally shot himself after a police chase on Friday, NBC News is reporting. The coverage, which FOX News blamed on severe human error, sparked outrage on social media sites and an on-air apology by anchor Sheppard Smith.
The video shows the suspect stumbling from an allegedly stone car into the desert near Phoenix. A helicopter camera provided live coverage of the man stopping a short distance away. He pulled the trigger of a gun pointed to the right side of his head and fell face forward onto the ground.
Michael Clemente, Fox’s executive vice president for news editorial, released a statement on Friday. “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,” he added.
The Phoenix police department identified the man as 33-year-old Jodon F. Romero on Friday. Authorities said he fired at officers and a police helicopter at one point during the pursuit. They also confirmed he died from the self-inflicted gunshot wound.
The department also released a statement, saying Romero had a prior history of numerous violent crimes. He was believed to be wanted on at least one warrant for felony parole violation on a weapons charge, and may have been sought on a second warrant, at the time of his death.
Written by: Karen Benardello