LA Stations Preempt Programming for Continuous Manhunt Coverage
Shootout captured live by KCBS reporter; LAPD requests that media ground news helicopters, stop tweeting during pursuit
By Melissa Grego -- Broadcasting & Cable, 2/12/2013 7:43:29 PMManhunt, Pope Resignation Stretch LA Newsrooms
Los Angeles-area TV stations switched from regularly scheduled programming Tuesday afternoon to continuous news reports on the pursuit of fugitive Christopher Dorner, following reports mid-day local time of a home invasion and car-jacking by a suspect matching the description of the former LAPD cop accused of three homicides.
Pursuit of the suspect in the area of the mountain resort Big Bear, where law enforcement have been searching for Dorner, led to a shootout that was captured live during an audio report on KCBS by Carter Evans. While Evans was giving an audio report, gunfire erupted and multiple times law enforcement was heard telling Evans to "get the f**k out." The expletives were audible during the initial broadcast and anchor Sandra Mitchell apologized on air for them, noting the coverage is live. (The expletives were bleeped out during replays.)
Mitchell later reported that Evans was safe and Evans himself reported later in the coverage that he indeed was unharmed.
During a regularly scheduled 3 p.m. LAPD news conference, commander Andrew Smith said he would not confirm at that time that the suspect involved was Dorner and indicated law enforcement was requesting local news helicopters stay away in the event the suspect might be tipped off if he's watching TV or has computer access. He offered a message to Dorner in case he was watching: "Enough is enough," the commander said, adding that it's time to turn himself in.
Following the news conference, KCBS anchor Pat Harvey, who took over the KCBS anchor duties along with Paul Magers at 2:30 p.m. local time, relayed a request from officials to limit social media activity as well, asking viewers following the news to refrain from tweeting: "If you're listening to my voice stop tweeting right now because that is getting in the way of what the sheriff's department is trying to do," she said
Evans returned to KCBS' coverage after 4 p.m. reporting at 4:07 p.m. that he hadn't heard gunfire in a little over an hour and describing his experience as feeling like he was in a "war zone."
At 4:21 p.m. Harvey referred Evans live on the air to report to CBS News to take part in the network news report on the East Coast. Shortly thereafter, officials confirmed during a news conference that two San Bernardino County Sheriff's deputies were injured and one died of their injuries during the shootout with the suspect that matched Dorner's description.
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