In Nebraska, one of the crew members taping the television program Cops was accidentally shot and killed by police Tuesday night as police attempted to round up a burglary suspect at a fast food restaurant. Bryce Dion, age 38, worked as a sound engineer who was in charge of holding the microphone while filming took place.
It seems that he appeared to have gotten stuck in a barrage of bullets let loose by Omaha police on Tuesday night after an ex convict, Cortez Washington, age 32, from Kansas robbed a Wendy’s restaurant around 9:20 p.m. with a pellet gun. The suspect was also killed by police gunfire.
John Langley, who created the television program, stated at a news conference on Wednesday that Cops truly was a reality show. It was never managed or manipulated, it was true, it was real, it happens as it happens. Unfortunately, that is both a highlight and also a lowlight in this case. Dion had been employed for Cops for over seven years and had recently received an advancement with his job.
Doors and windows of the restaurant located close to Dodge Street and 43rd Avenue were peppered with bullet holes and police investigators continued Wednesday to canvas the scene of the double fatal shootout. Police refused to confirm one report that there had been over 30 bullets fired.
The suspect was equipped with a BB gun-style weapon and had on dark hooded sweatshirt and white bandanna through the robbery, stated a police report.
Darren Cunningham, age 37, was stated to be first at the scene and the 10 year veteran called in for accelerated backup, explained Omaha Police Chief Todd Schmaderer. Brooks Riley, age 35, and Jason Wilhelm, age 39, each one are four year veterans of the force, show up on scene.
Each of the three officers apparently opened fire after they approached the robbery suspect from reverse doors inside the restaurant. Washington was struck numerous times but made it out a door where he collapsed on a sidewalk. The police cuffed the man and grabbed the replica handgun. The police were the only individuals who fired any gunshots, but Washington did pull on the trigger of the BB gun, Schmaderer stated at a news conference on Wednesday.
The chief explained that even though the gun looked and sounded like it was real, it was actually a pellet gun. As he spoke, he was bordered by the mayor of the city and associates of Langley Productions, who had come into Omaha after the shooting happened.
Crew members of the popular Cops television program, which inserts cameras as various police patrol different city streets all over the country and also wear bulletproof vests while doing filming. The chief explained that the lethal bullet that hit Dion had struck him close to his left armpit where there was an opening in the vest.
He was basically shot one time by “friendly fire,” stated Schmaderer. The chief added that the death of Dion was just like if they had lost another police officer. He explained that he could feel the pain of all three of the officers.
Each of the officers has been put on paid administrative leave as the shooting is studied. Video that was filmed by the Cops cameraman has been detained as evidence and has already been watched by the chief and also district attorney.
After viewing the footage, Chief Schmaderer stated that the three officers had no choice other than to respond how they did. He added that the amount of shots fired were not extreme based on what he saw in the video.
Cops, which first aired back in 1989, had formerly asked to film in Omaha but had always been refused until this year. It was stated that in around 25 years of filming, Langley Productions explained that none of the crew had ever been shot or seriously wounded in relation to the television show. Dion was initially from the Boston, Massachusetts area.
Langley Productions stated that they were extremely saddened and shocked by the tragedy and their main concern was in helping Bryce’s family in any way possible. Bryce Dion was a long time member of the Cops group and was a very dedicated and talented person. They explained how they are in mourning of his passing and that there is an investigation which is ongoing.
By Kimberly Ruble