‘Tosh.0′ Production Assistant Accidentally Shot + Killed by Cops Who Mistook Him for Assailant
— David Begnaud (@DavidBegnaud) April 10, 2014
What a tragedy and the saddest case of a mistaken identity.
John Winkler, a production assistant on Comedy Central’s ‘Tosh.0,’ was accidentally shot and killed by police earlier this week. Apparently, during a hostage and stabbing situation, cops mistook Winkler for the assailant and shot him.
Winkler, 30, was shot by three L.A. County Sheriff’s deputies. He was actually trying to help his friends, who were held at knifepoint at an apartment. Winkler was also being held hostage with two male friends when the deputies arrived on site. Upon their arrival, the suspect, Alexander McDonald, began stabbing the hostages, so Winkler and another man ran.
According to the news release, cops responded to a call that came in around 9:30PM on Monday, April 7 regarding “assault with a deadly weapon, man with a knife” at an apartment complex in the 900 block of Palm Avenue. Winkler ran out of the apartment behind another victim who was bleeding from the neck and covered in blood. Deputies fired upon both, as the men ran directly at the deputies. The cops believed Winkler was the assailant and that the assault was ongoing. Fearing he would attack them, they fired.
Both Winkler and the other man were hit. Winkler matched a description of the stabber, a thin white man wearing a black shirt. Cops entered the apartment and saw the suspect, McDonald, choking another victim with a knife nearby.
McDonald was roommates with one of the victims; Winkler and another victim were visiting. Winkler lived on another floor in the building.
Winkler, who had just relocated to Los Angeles from Washington, died at the hospital as a result of his injuries. His friends expressed their sadness on Facebook.
The other man shot by deputies is in stable condition. Another victim was released after being treated for his stab wounds.
Essentially, Winkler was fleeing the assailant but was mistaken for being the assailant and was killed because of it. How sad. The authorities expressed remorse for his death.
The real perpetrator is alleged to be McDonald, who has been charged with one count of murder, two counts of attempted murder and one count of torture. It appears he is being charged with Winkler’s murder, since his actions caused Winkler’s death.
McDonald pleaded not guilty on Thursday, April 10. Bail is set at $4.1 million, up from the initial $2 million.
Our hearts go out to Winkler’s family and friends.