A family is suing Fox News after the network accidentally aired live footage of their father shooting himself in the head.
JoDon Romero's three boys — ages 9, 13 and 15 — were shocked to learn the news channel had broadcast the Sept. 28 police pursuit in Arizona and subsequent suicide, their mom Angela Rodriguez said in the suit, according to the New York Daily News.
"Fox Report" anchor Shepard Smith was covering the high-speed chase when Mr. Romero abandoned his car and continued the chase on foot.
"Get off, get off, get off," Mr. Smith repeated frantically to producers as the man on screen was poised to take his own life. "Get off it! Get off it! Get off it!"
But it was too late. Mr. Romero fell to the ground on-screen.
"It is insensitive, it is just wrong," Mr. Smith said after a commercial break. "And that was wrong. And that won't happen again on my watch."
"We took every precaution to avoid any such live incident by putting the helicopter pictures on a five second delay," Fox News Senior Vice President Michael Clemente said in a statement at the time, the Daily News reported. "Unfortunately, this mistake was the result of a severe human error and we apologize for what viewers ultimately saw on the screen."
The suit claims that one of the boys downloaded the Fox News clip on YouTube, not knowing beforehand that he was about to watch his father commit suicide.
They "realized in horror that they were watching their father," the suit said, according to the Daily News. "This psychological trauma is substantial and long term."
A psychologist said two of the oldest boys suffered from "symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder." None of the boys have returned to school, according to the suit.
The family is seeking unspecified damages.
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