As reported by Digital Journal
, the car chase reached speeds of 110 mph and lasted nearly 70 miles before coming to a tragic ending. Although police still haven't released the identity of the accused carjacker, Phoenix police spokesman Sgt. Tommy Thompson, confirmed that the suspect was being chased because police believed he had stolen a car from a couple at gunpoint outside a Phoenix restaurant just before 11 a.m. local time. He also confirmed that when officers located the vehicle and began a pursuit and the man fired several shots, hitting one police vehicle, but no officers were injured.
The Arizona Daily Star
reports that when the suspect pulled onto the dirt road he was 70 to 80 miles east of the California state line.
In a statement Thompson said
: "He got out of the car and shot himself. Efforts to revive him were not successful and he was dead at the scene. We don't have an ID yet."
According to a Huffington Post
report, police vehicles did not appear to be immediately behind the car during most of the chase, although helicopters were following the suspect vehicle.
When asked about the suicide being carried live on Fox News, Michael Clemente, executive vice-president of news editorial at Fox News, stated
"We took every precaution to avoid any such live incident by putting the helicopter pictures on a five-second delay.
"Unfortunately, this mistake was the result of a severe human error and we apologize for what viewers ultimately saw on the screen."
Fox News has been criticized for frequently carrying car chases live. Although the car chases often provide a short-term ratings boost according to KTUL
the events rarely rise to the level of national news. The local Fox affiliate in Phoenix had stopped airing the chase before it concluded.
A request was sent to Phoenix police as to whether departmental policy was followed during the chase. They refused to comment at this time, citing the case as being an "ongoing investigation". A request sent to Fox News about plans to continue to air car chases as part of their national news coverage went unanswered.