Tuesday 24 April 2018

News crew robbed at gunpoint live on air while reporting on murder

David Kearns

A gunman stole TV cameras from two news crews live on air, pistol-whipping one camera man during the vicious assaults.

The disturbing crime was captured partly on air when San Francisco reporter Cara Liu was reporting live after a woman was shot and killed while she walked along the waterfront.

The KTVU reporter was beginning her piece to camera when someone ran up and stole equipment belonging to another local news outlet KNTV, who also had a crew reporting from the scene.

KTVU anchor Brian Flores was introducing the story and preparing to go live to Ms Liu when she appeared startled and said, “Hold on, hold on, wait,” before disappearing from the screen, as KNTV reporter Kris Sanchez and camera man Alan Waples were being robbed at gunpoint.

One of three men who took part in the attack came up behind Mr Waples as he was adjusting Ms Sanchez’s lighting and put a gun to his head. 

“Don’t shoot! Don’t shoot!” Ms Sanchez can be heard yelling, as Mr Waples tells the armed thieves to “Take the camera!”

Speaking afterward, he said he “was waiting for the click of the gun”. 

“I thought he was going to kill Alan,” Ms Sanchez said.

The man then threw Mr Waples to the ground and hit him with the gun in the ear, causing a large gash and leaving a big bruise on his upper arm.

All of this unfolded quickly as KTVU was broadcasting live.

“Cara, you still there?” KTVU anchor Brian Flores asked.

“Sorry, there’s an incident out here,” she replied as she and KTVU camera man Keith Crook left to tend to the stricken KNTV crew.

Off camera, the gun men pointed a weapon at Mr Crook and stole KTVU’s camera and tripod, leaving behind an ammunition clip.

The incident is the latest in which news crews have been targeted by robbers in the Bay Area.

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