Fox News 'Sorry' For Live Car Chase Suicide

Fox News 'Sorry' For Live Car Chase Suicide

The Fox News Channel has apologised for broadcasting live footage of a man fatally shooting himself in the head after a high-speed police chase.

The incident occurred on Friday at the end of a carjacking chase that began in Phoenix, Arizona and ended about 90 minutes later.

Fox News was covering the chase using a live helicopter shot from Phoenix affiliate KSAZ-TV.

Jodon Romero was driving a copper-coloured four-door sedan when he stopped, ran into the desert, placed a handgun to his head and fired.

He was declared dead at the scene, according to Sergeant Tommy Thompson, a Phoenix police spokesman.

Fox News anchor Shepard Smith told viewers that the video was supposed to be on a five second delay so it could be cut off if something went awry.

"We really messed up, and we're all very sorry," Mr Smith said.

Fox apologised for showing the violence on air.

"We took every precaution to avoid any such live incident by putting the helicopter pictures on a five second delay," said Michael Clemente, executive vice president of news editorial.

"Unfortunately, this mistake was the result of a severe human error and we apologise for what viewers ultimately saw on the screen."

Sergeant Thompson said the Romero allegedly stole a car from a couple at gunpoint outside a Phoenix restaurant just before 11am.

Police officers located the vehicle and began a pursuit and the man fired several shots, he said.

He said the shots hit the police vehicle, but the officers escaped injury.

Shepard Smith was narrating the video and clearly had his doubts about what was being shown from the moment the man stopped the car. "This scares me," he said.

"You wait for the end of these things and you worry about how they may end up," he said. "This makes me a little nervous, I got to tell you. A little nervous."

The video showed the man running erratically in a field before putting the gun to his head and firing. He fell to the ground.

Fox's picture quickly cut to Smith, who was shouting "get off, get off, get off, get off."

After the commercial break, Smith apologised repeatedly.

"That didn't belong on TV. We took every precaution we knew how to take to keep that from being on TV and I personally apologise to you that that happened," he said.