A 30-year-old Tosh.0 production assistant was shot and killed in West Hollywood, Calif. on Monday, after a trio of Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department mistook him for the suspect in a stabbing incident, opening fire and hitting him once.
John Winkler, who worked on the Comedy Central viral video lampoon, had been on the premises of the Palm Avenue apartment complex visiting friends in a neighboring unit when he became involved in the hostage incident after hearing screams, officials said.
“The apartment door suddenly opened and a male victim came rushing out,” Sheriff’s officials said in a statement. “He was covered in blood and bleeding profusely from the neck.
Officials continued, “Winkler ran out of the door, lunging at the back of the fleeing victim,” and both of the people were running “directly at the deputies.”
According to authorities, “Winkler was similar to the description of the suspect and was wearing a black shirt,” and “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.”
The actual suspect, a 26-year-old man named Alexander Tor McDonald, was arrested in connection with murder, attempted murder and torture, and has been held on $4 million bail after pleading not guilty to the charges in a hearing Thursday. He returns to court May 8.
Winkler, a Washington state native, had hoped to be a TV producer. Tosh had yet to address the incident on his Twitter page early Friday.
We’ll keep you updated on the latest in this story, right here on Radar.