A cameraman has been shot and killed during a taping of the popular documentary series Cops, in which authorities chase down or apprehend potentially dangerous criminals and bring them to justice. The incident occurred late Tuesday night in Omaha, Nebraska.
Reports state that Omaha authorities, along with the crew of Cops, responded to a call concerning a situation at a Wendy’s fast food restaurant. When they arrived on the scene, it was to find an armed robbery in progress. Upon realizing he was about to apprehended, the suspect shot at authorities who in return shot back. The aftermath of the bullets left not only the suspect hit, but also the cameraman who was filming the event for the highly coveted television show. The suspect is said to have died in hospital later that night after having succumbed to his injuries.
Upon realizing the camera man was hit, authorities on the scene called for backup to aid him. In the police transmission recording, one of the officers can be heard describing the fallen man’s condition as unconscious and only slightly breathing.
David Baker, Chief Deputy of the Omaha police force, gave a public statement that same night regarding the shooting of the Cops staffer. He briefly spoke to reporters in order to confirm that the shooting had occurred and that the information was correct concerning those involved. Although Baker and other authorities related to the incident initially did not release an official statement confirming the man’s death, sources close to the incident say that the man said the man was indeed deceased. However, the Chief Deputy earlier confirmed that the crew member had died from his wounds. He and the rest of the Omaha police department, as well as the Cops crew, expressed their deep sorrow and regret that the incident had occurred. Bryce Dion was reportedly a long-time member of the show’s cast and crew, and they say he will be missed greatly. The robbery was reportedly the second of that night, with a Little Caesars restaurant being targeted just moments before the shooting at the fast food restaurant. Authorities are reportedly looking for a possible connection between the two incidents.
Cops began in 1989, making it one of the longest running television shows in the United States. It garnered a reputation for being unscripted, with viewers praising the decision of producers to allow them to watch events transpire exactly as they were happening in real life. The show is very critically acclaimed, having earned an American Television Award in 1993 and been nominated for four Emmys since its premiere. The show has, of course, also received its fair share of criticism. Many have scrutinized the show for overly broadcasting criminal acts committed by low-income members of society, thus perpetuating the stereotype that most law breakers are poor and of low standing in society.
The investigation concerning the death of a Cops cameraman is still ongoing. Authorities involved in the investigation are asking for the public’s continued patience and support while attempting to put this matter to rest.
by Rebecca Grace