San Francisco TV News Crews Robbed On Air

AP Images

They were reporting on a murder at Pier 14.

News crews from two San Francisco Bay Area television stations were robbed at gunpoint and a cameraman was pistol-whipped during live broadcasts on Thursday.

The San Francisco Chronicle reports that the robbery and assault occurred at about 6 a.m. Thursday along the city's waterfront. Several camera crews were broadcasting live reports for local morning shows about a killing that occurred nearby on Wednesday night. The cameraman was examined on the scene and wasn't hospitalized.

The robber drove away in a black BMW with two cameras and two tripods from stations KTVU and KNTV. Two other camera crews on the scene weren't robbed.

Television and newspaper crews have been robbed in the San Francisco Bay Area several times in recent years. Many crews travel with armed guards when reporting in high-crime areas.

Wednesday's murder and Thursday's robbery occurred at Pier 14 along the Embarcadero, a popular spot for tourists and locals. San Francisco police were first called to the pier at about 6:30 p.m. Wednesday where they found a 31-year-old woman wounded with a gunshot to the upper body.

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Police detained a "person of interest," but released no further details about the shooting. The woman died later at a hospital.

About 12 hours later, news crews from four local stations set up cameras to discuss the homicide.

"Hold on, hold on, wait," KTVU reporter Cara Liu at the scene told the station's news anchor as she went live on air. A KNTV cameraman and reporter standing next to Liu were being menaced by a man with a gun.

"Don't shoot, don't shoot," viewers heard KNTV reporter Kris Sanchez yell at the gunman.

The robber made off with the gear after pistol-whipping KNTV cameraman Alan Waples, who suffered a gash behind the ear and bruised arm.

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