Fox News’ Shepard Smith Apologizes for On-Air Suicide Coverage (Video)

"We really messed up," Shepard Smith says after airing shocking footage

Last Updated: September 28, 2012 @ 5:22 PM

Fox News personality Shepard Smith issued a lengthy on-air apology Friday, after the network aired a live feed of a fleeing suspect committing suicide on Friday.

During the broadcast (see the video here WARNING: GRAPHIC), a man in Arizona is seen leaving a car and running through a grassy area as Shepard provides commentary.

At one point, the man pulls a gun from his clothing and, with his back turned to the camera, shoots himself in the head, as voices in the studio yell out in disbelief.

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Smith continually yells for the camera to "get off" the scene, but too late.

The anchor returned on air shortly after to explain that the network had a delay in place, but the safeguard failed to work.

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"We created a five second delay as if you were to bleep back your DVR five seconds, that's what we did with the picture we were showing you, so that we could see in the studio five seconds before you did, so if anything went horribly wrong, we would be able to cut away from it without subjecting you to it," Smith said. "And we really messed up. And we're all very sorry. 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 apologize to you that that happened."

Smith added that a similar gaffe "won't happen again on my watch."

Michael Clemente, Fox's executive vice president of news, blamed the incident on "severe human error" and offered his own apology.

“We took every precaution to avoid any such live incident by putting the helicopter pictures on a five second delay," Clemente said in a statement provided to TheWrap. "Unfortunately, this mistake was the result of a severe human error and we apologize for what viewers ultimately saw on the screen.”

Watch Smith apologize below.