Sacto 9-1-1
February 20, 2011
News reporters attacked covering homicide story in Natomas


Photo credit: What started out as a small group of friends and family to mourn the death of a 27-year-old man who had been shot in front of IHOP restaurant escalated into a fight of several dozen threatening and injuring journalists at the scene.

By Hudson Sangree
hsangree@sacbee.com

A mob of two dozen angry mourners charged and attacked a news crew Sunday afternoon that was reporting on the killing of a 27 -year- old man early in the morning.

A two-person crew from Fox 40 was filming an impromptu memorial service for the victim in a parking area near the IHOP on the 2900 block of Advantage Way in Natomas. As they were doing so the crowd charged toward them screaming obscenities.

KTXL Channel 40 news director Brandon Mercer said multimedia journalist Rebecca Little was filming the video when she was pulled to the ground by her hair and kicked in the face, he said.

"They came up behind her and surprised her, and the camera went flying," Mercer said.

KTXL reporter John Lobertini rushed to help Little, Mercer said. He had no information about the extent of Little's injuries but said she would be sent home after the evening newscast.

They had threatened other news reporters and a Bee photographer prior to the incident. The reporters were bruised and shaken.

Police dispersed the crowd and were questioning the victims.

The unruly crowd had gathered after a a man was shot outside the restaurant near Del Paso Road and Interstate 5 at about 2:40 a.m. this morning. He was declared dead at the scene.

Homicide detectives believe two groups got into an argument inside the restaurant. The groups went outside, where the argument escalated and the victim was shot, police said in a news release.

The suspects were described as in their 20s.

The Sacramento Police Department urges anyone with information to contact Crime Alert at (916) 443-HELP or text in a tip to 274637 (CRIMES). Enter SACTIP followed by the tip information.

Callers can remain anonymous and may be eligible for a reward of up to $1,000.

Call The Bee's Hudson Sangree, (916) 321-1191.

FOX 40: Angry crowd attacks crew

 

KCRA: Man killed outside restaurant

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