The gunman whose suicide was broadcast live on Fox News yesterday had just stolen a car and led Phoenix police on a 90-minute chase, the Arizona Republic reports. Police today identified him as Jodon Romero, 33, a violent, convicted criminal who was wanted for parole violation on a weapons charge. Cops first spotted him yesterday morning stealing "a 2008 Dodge Caliber at gunpoint from two people at a restaurant," police said in a statement.
Police gave chase but resorted to surveillance when Romero ran red lights and drove recklessly. Even then, he fired shots at officers waiting by the road and at a pursuing police helicopter. Finally he drove off the I-10 Freeway about 80 miles before the California state line and abandoned his car in a deserted area—where he ended it all, at about 12:30pm. Fox anchor Shepard Smith apologized for airing his suicide on national TV, saying, "We really messed up. And we're all very sorry."