Photo: Suicide on Live Television: Jodon Romero Shoots Self After Arizona Car Chase
Despite a five second delay, Fox News accidentally broadcasted the suicide of a man involved in an Arizona carjacking on Friday. That man has now been identified as Jodon Romero.
As Fox anchor Shepard Smith gave a play-by-play of the police chase that began when Romero allegedly carjacked a 2008 red Dodge Caliber at gunpoint in Phoenix.
Police learned Romero, 33, was also involved in another incident before stealing the Dodge SUV, and gave chase down Interstate 10.
As it continued, the Fox News helicopter covered the chase, showing Romero driving dangerously and shooting at police. The chase ended when Romero stumbled out of the SUV onto a grassy area off the interstate. During Fox’s coverage, Smith was growing increasingly weary, and though footage was on five second delay, those watching Fox’s live coverage of the incident witnessed Romero pull a gun from his waistband and shoot himself in the head.
Smith was heard yelling for his production team to cutaway, but it was too late. The show went to commercial and upon its return, Smith apologized to viewers, saying, “We really messed up and we’re all very sorry. That didn’t belong on TV… I personally apologize to you that it happened.”
Fox later released a statement:
We took every precaution to avoid any such live incident by putting the helicopter pictures on a five second delay. Unfortunately, this mistake was the result of a severe human error and we apologize for what viewers ultimately saw on the screen.
Romero was not immediately identified as the suspect, but his name was given Sunday. His family has said Romero only recently got out of jail, and was likely heading back. Police say he had a felony warrant for his arrest for a parole violation on a weapons charge. He may also have additional warrants, but it is unclear.
Romero was the father of four and his sister has said he was not a bad man and did not want to hurt anyone, saying, “He was just going through a lot and all he wanted to do was hurt himself.”
*Though the video of Romero’s suicide can be found on various websites, HS News has chosen not to post it here.