LAPD Backtracks on Tom Petty Death Report, Now "Clinging to Life"

Paul Natkin/WireImage
Tom Petty

CBS News reported that the singer had died, but "initial information was inadvertantly [sic] provided to some media sources," the police said.

CBS News and the LAPD backtracked Monday afternoon on initial reports that musician Tom Petty had died earlier in the day at the age of 66. 

First citing the LAPD, CBS News reported Monday afternoon that Petty was taken off life support and died at a Los Angeles hospital. The LAPD and Sheriff's Department would not confirm the news to The Hollywood Reporter, and representatives for both organizations added that they had not confirmed the news to anyone. 

CBS News' report was later updated to cite TMZ as saying that Petty is still "clinging to life" at a local hospital. CBS News also deleted its initial tweet about Petty's death, which cited LAPD sources. 

Earlier Monday, TMZ first reported Petty was found in full cardiac arrest in his home in Malibu. Local authorities would not confirm who was taken to the hospital, but they did tell THR that they responded to a Malibu home Monday morning where a man suffered a heart attack. The man was in critical condition and rushed to the hospital, they told THR.

A CBS News spokesperson explained Monday that the outlet incorrectly reported that Petty had died based on information obtained from the LAPD. "CBS News reported information obtained officially from the LAPD about Tom Petty," the spokesperson said in a statement. "The LAPD later said it was not in a position to confirm information about the singer and that 'initial information was inadvertently provided to some media sources.' In that statement, the LAPD also apologized for 'any inconvenience in this reporting.'"

The LAPD later tweeted out an apology: "The LAPD has no information about the passing of singer Tom Petty. Initial information was inadvertantly [sic] provided to some media sources. However, the LAPD has no investigative role in this matter. We apologize for any inconvenience in this reporting."

Petty died Monday night, at 8:40 p.m. PT, according to a statement from the singer-songwriter's manager.