The man whose suicide was broadcast live on Fox following a car chase has been identified as Jodon Romero, a convicted felon with a long history of violent crimes.
Romero was seen leading the police on an hour-long car chase in Phoenix around midday on Friday, one that ended with him running down a hill to evade police before committing suicide during live Fox broadcast.
Phoenix Police spokesman Sgt. Tommy Thompson said today that Jodon Romero was a wanted felon with a long criminal history, the Daily Mail reported. Police were looking for Romero for a parole violation on his weapons conviction. Police said he stole a car at gunpoint before leading police on a dangerous pursuit, and just before his suicide police had fired at him.
Fox News was broadcasting the chase live, with anchor Shepard Smith commenting as the events unfolded.
“Umm, I don’t know. Look at this – he’s just running. Oh my. Well, it looks like he’s a little disoriented or something. It’s always possible guy could be on something.”
Then, as it became clear that Jodon Romero was committing suicide live on television, Shepard Smith tried frantically to cut the broadcast.
“Get off,” Smith said repeatedly, urging Fox to cut away from the broadcast.
Fox later apologized for broadcasting Jodon Romero’s suicide, The Associated Press reported.
“We really messed up, and we’re all very sorry,” Smith said minutes after the suicide was broadcast live on Fox.
Police in Phoenix said they did everything they could to de-escalate the situation that led to Jodon Romero’s suicide being broadcast live on Fox, but he seemed intent on continuing a crime spree that started when he struck a passing car with his hand, leading to a call to police.