'Tosh.0' Producer Killed By Police In West Hollywood, Tragic Case of Mistaken Identity

Police tape cordons off an area outside a Jack in the Box restaurant in Hollywood, California, January 31, 2017, after police shot and killed a knife-wielding suspect inside the restaurant following a series of stabbing in the vicinity. Authorities said a person described only as a male was pronounced dead at the scene, while two of the male stabbing victims have critical injuries and a third was in fair condition. / AFP PHOTO / Robyn Beck (Photo credit should read ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images)
Source: ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images

One of the staffers of Comedy Central show Tosh.0 was shot and killed this Monday in a tragic case of mistaken identity. The person behind the gun was a police officer with the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department, the shooting a case of the officer mistaking him for the stabbing suspect they've come for. He was 30.

Reports vary on whether the victim, John Winkler, was a production assistant or a producer on Tosh.0, but according to a statement by the LA County Sheriff's Department, officers responded to a call about an assault with a deadly weapon on the 990 block of Palm in West Hollywood. A man reportedly had a knife and was threatening several people. According to The Wrap:

The deputies were told by informants there were only two males residing in the apartment and described the suspect as a male, white, thin build, wearing a black shirt.
[...] 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. Victim Winkler was struck by the gunfire and fell to the floor, and the [other] male victim also collapsed; struck once by the gunfire.
Winkler died later that night at a local hospital. The suspect, 27 year old Alexander McDonald, was arrested and charged with murder, attempted murder, and torture. 

Cases of innocent people dying are always, always tragic. Winkler's is made even more so in that he'd reportedly been trying to help others in the situation, and wound up dead because of it. Our condolences go out to his loved ones, for this must be a truly difficult time. 


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