User Login    
 + Register
PDQ Cleaning
News : Omaha Police Bullet Kills "Cops" Film Crew Member
Posted by Randy on 2014/8/28 4:16:41 (245 reads) News by the same author

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) -- When the call came from an officer who needed help facing an armed robber at a fast-food restaurant, two members of a reality television show riding along with Omaha police hustled to record the confrontation.
Click to see original Image in a new window

In the chaotic scene that unfolded, one crew member was struck by "friendly fire" from one of the officers, a bullet slipping past his bulletproof vest and killing him, Omaha Police Chief Todd Schmaderer said Wednesday. The robbery suspect was also killed. The weapon he was carrying turned out to be a pellet gun, though it looked and sounded so real that both witnesses and officers were fooled, Schmaderer said.

Bryce Dion, 38, of Boston, the audio supervisor for "Cops," is the first crew member of the long-running TV show to be killed while filming police in action, executives with the show's production company said. Police identified the robbery suspect as 32-year-old Cortez Washington, who was on parole from Missouri for a robbery conviction.

Schmaderer told reporters that police and prosecutors have reviewed the "Cops" video of Tuesday's shooting and found that the officers "had no choice" but to open fire, though a grand jury will still be tasked with investigating.

Schmaderer said the incident began when drive-thru customers alerted Detective Darren Cunningham - on his way to a different robbery scene in midtown Omaha - to an armed robbery at a Wendy's. Cunningham called for backup, and Officers Brooks Riley and Jason Wilhelm - along with Dion and a "Cops" cameraman - arrived at the restaurant within 15 seconds, Schmaderer said.

The "Cops" crew followed the officers into the restaurant. There, police confronted a hooded and masked man. The cameraman darted into the dining area, crouched behind a low wall and held up his camera to record the confrontation. But Dion didn't make it past the glass-enclosed entrance to the restaurant. Almost immediately, Schmaderer said, the suspect raised his gun and fired twice.

Schmaderer said three witnesses described Washington firing his gun directly at Cunningham and Riley. "The witnesses described hearing the suspect's handgun being fired and seeing the slide recoil with the shots," he said.

Officers returned fire, hitting Washington, who still managed to run from the store. Officers continued firing as Washington - his gun still pointed at police - entered the glass vestibule, Schmaderer said. It was then that a bullet hit Dion in the chest, Schmaderer said.

Washington collapsed in the restaurant parking lot.

After the shooting, police discovered that Washington's weapon was an air gun that shoots only plastic pellets.

Washington's criminal record included an accessory to robbery conviction from Missouri for which he was on parole. He moved to Nebraska in September 2013, and his parole was due to expire in June 2017.

"Cops" started on Fox in 1989 and is now shown on the Spike network. According to the "Cops" website, the show has been filmed in at least 140 U.S. cities and three foreign countries.

Langley Productions President John Langley and Executive Producer Morgan Langley described Dion as talented - "one of our best" - who had worked for the show for seven years.

"He did something that he loved and was passionate about," Morgan Langley said. "We've been very fortunate over the years; we've never had an incident like this. Now we're dealing with it, and it's a very sad day for us."

In 2010, a TV crew for the A&E reality show "The First 48" recorded a Detroit police raid in which a 7-year-old girl was accidentally killed by an officer. That incident highlighted concerns about whether TV cameras influence police behavior, perhaps encouraging showboating. But some experts and officers believe TV crews increase accountability.

Schmaderer bristled at the suggestion that his officers overreacted knowing that cameras were recording them, calling it "absolutely ridiculous."

The police chief said he accepted the invitation from "Cops" to film in Omaha in the name of transparency. "Personally, I will live with this forever," Schmaderer said. "If I'd have known that this would happen, of course, I wouldn't have done it."

Printer Friendly Page Send this Story to a Friend Create a PDF from the article


Other articles
2015/3/3 6:42:26 - Two Arrested By Grundy County Sheriff
2015/3/3 6:40:00 - Grundy County Sheriff Enters World Of Social Media
2015/3/3 6:38:43 - Bethany Man Injured In Early Morning Accident
2015/3/3 6:36:17 - Twenty Grundy County Entities Not Holding Election
2015/3/3 6:31:41 - Bishop Hogan Memorial School At Chillicothe To Hold Fundraiser
2015/3/3 5:43:01 - Head-On Collision Kills Ridgeway Man, Closes I-35
2015/3/3 4:18:07 - Mom Convicted Of Killing Son, 5, By Poisoning Him With Salt
2015/3/3 4:13:51 - US Considers Banning Type Of Popular Rifle Ammunition
2015/3/3 4:10:05 - Teacher Found Hanged In Southern California High School Classroom
2015/3/3 4:05:34 - Bill Clinton's Official Portrait Includes Shadow Of Monica Lewinsky's Infamous Blue Dress, Artist Says
2015/3/3 3:58:05 - Columbia Man , 88, Pleads Guilty To Fatally Stabbing Wife
2015/3/3 3:54:41 - Police: Woman Falls Through Ice, Dies Trying To Retrieve Dog
2015/3/3 3:52:07 - Body-Camera Maker Has Financial Ties To Police Chiefs
2015/3/2 13:10:00 - Mercer Cardinal Coaches Shows For Monday, 3/2/15
2015/3/2 10:41:34 - Grundy R-5 Coaches Shows For Monday, 3/2/15
2015/3/2 9:45:56 - Grand River Conference Balances Divisions With Braymer Move To The West
2015/3/2 9:32:24 - Nine Injured In Weather Related Accidents Over The Weekend
2015/3/2 9:28:26 - Chillicothe Holds Off Trenton, Win District 15 Semifinal, 47-36
2015/3/2 9:18:17 - Amateur Radio Emergency Service Groups Sponsors Class
2015/3/2 9:10:00 - Back-2-Back Region Champs: Lady Pirates Beat St. Louis In OT
2015/3/2 5:24:37 - Green City Man Transported To Hospital After Accident
2015/3/2 4:37:18 - Huge Marijuana Bust At California Border Crossing Nets 15 Tons
2015/3/2 4:33:24 - Massachusetts Police: Teen's Text Encouraged Friend To Commit Suicide
2015/3/2 4:20:52 - Missouri Gun Murder Rate Second Highest In The United States
2015/3/2 4:13:18 - Man Accused Of Throwing Rocks At Patrol Car, Kicking Officer
2015/3/2 4:09:44 - Missouri Issues Licenses To Grow Hemp For Epilepsy Patients
2015/3/2 4:05:05 - Shatner Defends Absence From Nimoy's Funeral
2015/3/2 4:01:10 - Man Says Iphone Exploded In Pocket
2015/3/2 3:58:46 - 14-Year-Old Girl Killed After Facebook Spat, Planned Videotaped Fight
2015/3/2 3:56:04 - One Boy Dies, 2 Injured After Falling Through Icy Pond



Bookmark this article at these sites

                   

Listen to KTTN-FM