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‘Cops’ crew member accidentally gunned down by actual cops
It’s the first crew death since the show premiered in 1989.
In what the producers of Cops are calling the first instance of a crew member being seriously injured or killed during filming, a 38-year-old sound technician has died of wounds from police gunfire during a shootout.
Bryce Dion had worked on many reality TV shows in his career, including Jail, Trading Spaces, and Container Wars, and had mixed sound for long-running real crime series Cops since at least 2009. On Tuesday, he was with an embedded production team in Omaha, Neb., that accompanied police to a Wendy’s restaurant where they had hoped to disrupt a robbery in progress.
— Malorie Maddox (@MalorieMaddox6) August 28, 2014
— NBC Nightly News (@NBCNightlyNews) August 27, 2014
— Daily Star (@Daily_Star) August 28, 2014
When their suspect, Cortez Washington, flashed a pellet gun—at least one report suggests he was threatening a Wendy’s employee with it, and Omaha PD claims he fired the weapon twice—the cops let loose with a hail of bullets that killed both Washington and Dion.
A relative of Washington’s later told TMZ that they didn’t believe the air gun was fired and thought the police were “hyped up” to put on a show for the cameras, adding that, in light of events in Ferguson, Mo., “you think they would use other options.”
Dion was wearing a bulletproof vest at the time of the robbery, but the fatal stray shot that hit him evidently found a gap in the armor.
Miles Klee is a novelist and web culture reporter. The former editor of the Daily Dot’s Unclick section, Klee’s essays, satire, and fiction have appeared in Lapham’s Quarterly, Vanity Fair, 3:AM, Salon, the Awl, the New York Observer, the Millions, and the Village Voice. He's the author of two odd books of fiction, 'Ivyland' and 'True False.'