Cops Kill TV camera crew member
Police released a still from the shooting in which a TV crew member was shot dead by police.Fox TV

A TV crew member for US TV show Cops has been shot dead by police while filming officers attending a robbery.

Sound operator Bryce Dion, 38, died from a gunshot wound when police opened fire, on a suspect and hit him by mistake.

The robber, 32-year-old Cortez Washington, was also shot dead by police.

The incident occurred at a Wendy's in Omaha, Nebraska. Two crew members from the TV show were accompanying police, who were called to provide back up at the restaurant.

Mr Dion, who was wearing a bullet-proof vest, became separated from his cameraman.

As Washington who was armed with a pellet gun, attempted to flee the restaurant, officers opened fire. He collapsed and died of his injuries.

Cortez Washington
The robber Cortez Washington was killed at the scene of the robbery.

Police Chief Todd Schmaderer told a press conference that during the gunfight, a single bullet also struck Mr Dion's arm, "slipped into a gap in the vest" and went into his chest.

Mr Schmaderer defended the actions of police, saying his officers reacted as they should have, but are distressed by the tragic outcome.

"My concern with my officers is that they are taking this very hard. Bryce was their friend," he said.

A Fox reality TV programme, Cops shows law enforcement officers on duty.

The executive producer of Langley Productions, which carries out work for the show, said the crew only had one week of filming left when the shooting occurred.

"Bryce has been with us for seven years. This is very hard for us," said Langley.

Police have released images from the shooting.

In 2010, a seven-year-old girl was accidentally killed by police as a TV crew for the reality show The First 48 filmed a Detroit police raid.

The incident highlighted concerns about whether TV cameras influence the behaviour of police by encouraging showboating.