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'Tosh.0': Los Angeles police accidentally kill TV show's production assistant

A tragic mistake led to the death of a young production assistant.
A tragic mistake led to the death of a young production assistant.

A case of mistaken identity has led to the death of a young television producer in Los Angeles. Variety reported on April 10, 2014, that Los Angeles County Sheriff's Dept. officers shot and killed John Winkler on Monday night after the mistook him for an armed assailant and stabbing suspect.

Winkler was just 30-years-old and worked as a production assistant on the show, "Tosh.0."

Reports state that Winkler went to a neighbor's apartment on Monday evening to help three people who were being held captive at knife point. A responding police officer on the scene, shot Winkler as he ran from the apartment with one of the victims.

Winkler was said to have matched the description of the suspect. A statement from the Sheriff Department read:

As deputies continued attempts to contact the people in the apartment, the apartment door suddenly opened and a male victim came rushing out. He was covered in blood and bleeding profusely from the neck. Simultaneously, Victim Winkler ran out of the door, lunging at the back of the fleeing victim. Both ran directly at the deputies. Winkler was similar to the description of the suspect and was wearing a black shirt. Believing Winkler was the assailant and the assault was ongoing and he would attack the entry team; three deputies fired their duty weapons at him.

Sheriff's officers shot Winkler one time and he died later that evening at a local hospital. The 27-year-old suspect, Alexander McDonald, was eventually arrested and charged with one count of murder, two counts of attempted murder, and one count of torture.

A friend of Winkler's spoke after the shooting.

"It's just a really sad story," Devin Richardson said, adding that Winkler had just moved to L.A. six months ago from Washington state to pursue a career as a producer. "He basically went to help some neighbors and ends up getting shot."

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