Fox News viewers were exposed to a shocking scene after a live car chase ended in a suicide.
Fox anchor Shepard Smith was reporting on a chase involving a Dodge Caliber near Phoenix, Arizona. Cops perused the driver at speeds more than 100 mph as a news chopper hovered above, capturing it all for live television.
The driver took the SUV off the road and fled the vehicle in a panic. He ran for several yards, before tumbling down and frantically getting back up again.
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"He is looking kind of erratic, isn't he?" Smith said on air. "It looks like he is a little disoriented or something."
The suspect then pulled out a handgun and shot himself in the head while still on camera.
The show's crew can be heard yelling in shock from off the set as Smith ordered, "Get off it, get off it, get off it!"
Smith later issued this on-air apology:
Well, some explaining to do. While we were taking that car chase and showing it to you live when the guy pulled over and got out of the vehicle we went on delay. So that’s why I didn’t talk for about ten seconds. We created a five second delay as if you were to bleep back your DVR five seconds that’s what we did with the picture we were showing you so that we would see in the studio what was happening five seconds before you did so that if anything went horribly wrong we’d be able to cut away from it without subjecting you to it. And we really messed up and we’re all very sorry. That didn’t belong on TV. We took every precaution we knew how to take to keep that from being on TV and I personally apologize to you that that happened. Sometimes we see a lot of things that we don’t let get to you because it’s not time appropriate, it’s insensitive, it’s just wrong. And that was wrong and that won’t happen again on my watch and I’m sorry. We’ll update you on what happened with that guy and how that went down tonight on the FOX Report. I’m sorry.
"We took every precaution to avoid any such live incident by putting the helicopter pictures on a five second delay, Michael Clemente, EVP of news editorial, said in a statement. "Unfortunately, this mistake was the result of a severe human error and we apologize for what viewers ultimately saw on the screen."
Warning: The video below contains graphic content!