COPS sound engineer killed

COPSUpdate and new information, 2:18 p.m. ET: The COPS crew member who died was a sound engineer, not a camera operator, as someone incorrectly said while radioing for help after the shooting.

The camera operator and all police officers were uninjured, the Omaha World-Herald reports; the paper said “at least 30 shots were fired” by police only, because the suspect, who was also killed, “apparently had an air gun, a type of BB gun that looks like an actual firearm.”

Update, 11:30 a.m. ET: The COPS camera operator has died, having been shot by police. According to the Omaha World-Herald, “the fatal shots apparently were fired by an Omaha police officer” and “the only shots fired came from police.”

Earlier Wednesday: A camera operator for the Spike TV reality show COPS is in critical conduction after being shot when police responded to a robbery at an Omaha Wendy’s.

The Omaha World-Herald reports that the “suspect was shot dead and a crew member with the ‘Cops’ television show was in extremely critical condition after the apparent disruption of a robbery Tuesday night at a Wendy’s restaurant in midtown Omaha.”

The Los Angeles Times’ story links to audio of police radio communications, on which someone says, “We’ve got a ‘Cops’ cameraman hit, white male, he’s not conscious, he’s slightly breathing.”

Crews have been filming the Omaha Police Department this summer. Fox cancelled the Langley Productions series last year after 25 seasons and more than 900 episodes, but Spike picked it up and started airing it last fall.

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about the writer

Andy Dehnart is a journalist who has covered reality television for more than 15 years and created reality blurred in 2000. A member of the Television Critics Association, his writing and criticism about television, culture, and media has appeared on NPR and in Playboy, Buzzfeed, and many other publications. Andy, 36, also directs the journalism program at Stetson University in Florida, where he teaches creative nonfiction and journalism. He has an M.F.A. in nonfiction writing and literature from Bennington College. More about reality blurred and Andy.