A man fatally shot himself in the head Friday on live national television at the end of a high-speed carjacking chase that began in Phoenix and ended about 90 minutes later within 80 miles of the California border.
Fox News was covering the chase that began about midday using a live helicopter shot from Phoenix affiliate KSAZ-TV. The man driving a copper-colored four-door sedan stopped, ran into the desert and placed a handgun to his head and fired.
The man was declared dead at the scene and hasn’t yet been identified, according to Sgt. Tommy Thompson, a Phoenix police spokesman.
Fox News anchor Shepard Smith told viewers that the video was supposed to be on a 10-second delay so it could be cut off from airing if something went awry.
“We really messed up, and we’re all very sorry,” Smith said.
Fox apologized for showing the violence on air.
“We took every precaution to avoid any such live incident by putting the helicopter pictures on a five second delay,” said Michael Clemente, executive vice president of news editorial. “Unfortunately, this mistake was the result of a severe human error and we apologize for what viewers ultimately saw on the screen.”
Thompson said the man allegedly stole a car from a couple at gunpoint outside a Phoenix restaurant just before 11 a.m. MST.
Police officers located the vehicle and began a pursuit and the man fired several shots, Thompson said. He said the shots hit the police vehicle and the officers escaped injury.
The suspect headed west on Interstate 10, then pulled onto a dirt road that Thompson said was “70 to 80 miles east of the California line.”
“He got out of the car and shot himself,” Thompson said. “Efforts to revive him were not successful and he was dead at the scene. We don’t have an ID yet.”
If FOX News is going to show felonies in progress, they shouldn’t be apologizing when they end this way. If it’s live, than it shouldn’t be on a delay. You can’t have your cake and eat it too, Shep.
The video is not as graphic as Shep’s reaction.
By the way, this is the second high speed chase I saw on FOX today. Earlier a hippie in a vintage Mercedes shut down the 101, while CHP practically stripped searched him on the side of the road. I was listening to that one on the scanner and watching the broadcast on both FOX News and a local LA channel via the miracle of the world wide web. It didn’t appear to be delayed on the web.
The most interesting part of the video is watching Shep get his panties all in a wad. I’m not going to shed any tears over a felonious carjacker taking himself out on national TV. Better he take himself out than a law abiding citizen, legally armed citizen having to take him out while defending their own life and property.