Bay Area news crews robbed on live TV while reporting on homicide

Two Bay Area news crews were robbed at gunpoint and a camera operator was pistol-whipped on live TV Thursday while they were reporting on a homicide in San Francisco, according to area news reports.

Crews from KNTV-Channel 11 and KTVU-Channel 2 were reporting live at 6:03 a.m. on the shooting death of a woman at Pier 14 when someone stole camera equipment, the San Francisco Chronicle reported.

Part of the robbery was captured on air, showing a man hitting KNTV-TV camera operator Alan Waples with a gun.

Video shows the gunman approach Waples and put a gun to his head while reporter Kris Sanchez pleads for him not to shoot, the Chronicle reported.

Waples was flung to the ground and struck with the gun. San Francisco police say Waples suffered a head injury.

According to KNTV-TV, the cameraman’s ear was cut.

The gunman and two other men fled the scene in a black BMW with the crews’ cameras and tripods, police said.

The TV crews were reporting on the death of a 31-year-old woman who was found lying on the pier at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday.

San Francisco police said the Pleasanton woman suffered a gunshot wound in her upper torso. She was taken to an area hospital, where she later died.

According to the Chronicle, Bay Area news crews have recently stepped up their security because of a string of thefts targeting them.

This isn’t the first time a KTVU-TV crew has been robbed.

Another crew was attacked and robbed in February in Hayward after filming a Powerball lottery segment at a convenience store.

In July 2014, a laptop and personal belongings were stolen from a news van belonging to KPIX-TV, another Bay Area station. That same news crew was punched and robbed in 2012 during a live broadcast.

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Copyright © 2016, Los Angeles Times

UPDATE

5:58 p.m.: This story has been updated with the cameraman's injury and police statements about the suspects.

This story was originally published at 12:09 p.m.

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