Fox News blames live airing of suicide on "severe human error"

PHOENIX Sat Sep 29, 2012 6:33pm EDT

A vehicle is shown being pursued by police in a high-speed chase in this handout still image from video courtesy of MyFox10 News in Phoenix, Arizona September 28, 2012. REUTERS/MyFox10 News/Handout

A vehicle is shown being pursued by police in a high-speed chase in this handout still image from video courtesy of MyFox10 News in Phoenix, Arizona September 28, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/MyFox10 News/Handout

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PHOENIX (Reuters) - Fox News apologized for a "severe human error" that resulted in viewers seeing a suspected carjacker fatally shoot himself after a police chase.

The coverage of the Friday incident, which sparked outrage on social media and a quick on-air apology by anchor Shepard Smith, showed a man stumbling from an allegedly stolen car into the desert near Phoenix on Friday.

As a camera in a helicopter provided live coverage, the man s topped a short distance away, pulled the trigger of a gun pointed to the right side of his head and crumpled face-forward into the ground.

"We took every precaution to avoid any such live incident by putting the helicopter pictures on a five-second delay," said Michael Clemente, Fox's executive vice president for news editorial.

"Unfortunately, this mistake was the result of a severe human error and we apologize for what viewers ultimately saw on the screen," he said in a statement issued on Friday.

The Phoenix police department on Saturday identified the man as Jodon F. Romero, 33. Authorities said he fired at officers and a police helicopter at one point during the pursuit, and died at the scene from a self-inflicted gunshot wound. In a statement, the department said Romero had a prior history of numerous violent crimes. At the time of his death, 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. (Reporting by Colleen Jenkins and Tim Gaynor; Editing by Alex Dobuzinskis and Eric Walsh)

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Comments (22)
Munchma_Quchi wrote:
Say what you will, this seems like a fitting end to me.

Sep 28, 2012 9:38pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
VonHell wrote:
Why the hipocrisy?
People were whatching to enjoy the adrenaline of the exchange of fire, the pursuit (in special with some car colisions) and probably even the police shooting his legs or so since the cops already received some bullets and probably were eager to do so…
That is not why you follow these events on helicopter to begin with?
And people look so disgusted after seen what they expect to see since the begining… like watch the war and expect to see no horror or watch porn and see no lust…

Sep 28, 2012 9:49pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
neahkahnie wrote:
This is what you get when Rupert Murdoch owns a media company and brings his “notion” of journalism to the United States. The worst kind of tabloid journalism. It’s what has reduced so much of American journalism to his gutter level.

Sep 28, 2012 10:46pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
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