The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department accidentally shot and killed a Tosh.O production assistant on Monday after they mistook him for a stabbing suspect. John Winkler, an aspiring producer and temporary assistant on the show, was 30.
The Los Angeles Times was among the first to report on the incident, which went virtually unknown until yesterday when the Sheriff’s Department released a statement. Evidently, Winkler had gone to a neighbor’s apartment in an effort to help three people being held at knifepoint at the time. Police who responded to the same situation shot Winkler after he emerged from the apartment with a victim:
“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.”
Police shot Winkler once, and he later died in a local hospital. He had been in LA for just six months to pursue his goal of becoming a television producer when he was killed.
The actual suspect in the case, Alexander McDonald, 27, was arrested and charged with murder, attempted murder, and torture shortly after Police accidentally shot Winkler. Neither Daniel Tosh nor the Tosh.O production crew have issued a statement on Winkler’s death.