Massachusetts native Bryce Dion, 'Cops' TV show crew member killed by police while filming in Nebraska, was born in Lawrence
August 28, 2014
LAWRENCE — Bryce Dion, the "Cops" TV show crew member killed by police while filming in Nebraska this week, was born in Lawrence and attended St. John's Preparatory School in Danvers, the Lawrence Eagle-Tribune reports.
Dion, 38, was the first crew member to die in the line of duty in the history of the 25-year-old show, according to its producers.
"We are deeply saddened and shocked by this tragedy and our main concern is helping his family in any way we can," Langley Productions, which produces Cops, said in a statement.
It was a bullet from an Omaha police officer's gun that killed the Massachusetts native, who was a sound technician for the popular program "starring the men and women of law enforcement."
He was killed by "friendly fire," police Chief Todd Schmaderer said, calling Dion a "friend" of the Omaha Police Department. The death has cast a pall over the department. "Bryce was their friend," Schmaderer said, adding that officers were "taking this very hard."
"Cops" had been working with police in Nebraska's largest city since June, USA Today reports, and many officers had become friendly with the TV crew. "This is especially difficult for them," Omaha Mayor Jean Stothert said.
Tim Bresnahan, a former sports reporter for the Eagle-Tribune, said Dion was a Lawrence native who graduated from St. John's Prep with Bresnahan. Dion's mother lives in Haverhill, according to the Lawrence newspaper.
Dion and "Cops" cameraman Michael Lee were with Omaha officers when they responded to a restaurant robbery, during which the gunman also was shot and killed by police.
The suspect, 32-year-old Cortez Washington, was a prison parolee from Kansas who was armed with an authentic-looking Airsoft pellet gun that was mistaken for the real deal, the Daily News reports.
Dion was accidentally hit as officers opened fire on Washington as the suspect fled from a Wendy's restaurant in Omaha, a city of more than 421,000 people. The incident remains under investigation.
John Langley, the creator and producer of "Cops," reminded people that the show is as real as real can get. " 'Cops' truly is a reality show. It's not manipulated, it's not managed," he said at a press conference Wednesday. "It's all true, it's all real, it happens as it happens."
Fans posted condolences on the reality show's Facebook page, which now features a black band over the program's logo.
"The best thing to honor (Dion) would be to continue filming episodes in his honor. Canceling is not what he would have wanted. May he RIP and prayers to his family," Christian Miner said.
"It breaks my heart that you have lost one of your best," Robert Grimm posted. "It is a stark example of the circumstances that police face daily and the evil they encounter. ... My condolences for your loss."
DION, Bryce (Bryce David Dion)
Born: 1976, Lawrence, Massachusetts, U.S.A.
Died: 8/27/2014, Omaha, Nebraska, U.S.A.
Bryce Dion’s western – sound mixer:
Shiloh Falls - 2007