Cops crew member accidentally killed by police during robbery

Police chief Todd Schmaderer: "It became a chaotic scene"

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A crew member on a US police reality TV show has been shot and killed after Nebraska police opened fire on a robbery suspect.

Bryce Dion, 38, was wearing a bulletproof vest but the bullet that hit him "slipped into a gap" in the arm and entered his chest, police said.

Dion was a sound operator on Cops for seven years, the show's producer said.

Police also killed the robbery suspect, Cortez Washington, who was on parole from prison.

"This is very hard for us," Morgan Langley, who hired Dion, said at a press conference on Wednesday.

Cops is a long-running US television series that follows police officers while they are on-duty. The show has featured police forces from at least 140 US cities and three other countries.

Dion and a cameraman were with two officers who responded to a call for backup at a fast-food restaurant in Omaha.

Frame grabs from security video showing an armed robbery at a Wendy's restaurant in Omaha is displayed during a news conference at police headquarters in Omaha, Nebraska 27 August 2014 Security footage shows the robbery suspect and a pellet gun police thought was a real firearm

Washington fired a pellet gun, which police and witnesses thought was a real weapon, Police Chief Todd Schmaderer said.

Chief Schmaderer told reporters police fired back and Washington was struck by officers' gunfire but fled outside of the restaurant before collapsing.

Dion was struck as police continued to fire on Washington as he left the restaurant.

The Omaha World-Herald reported police fired at least 30 shots during the incident.

Chief Schmaderer said his officers were "taking this very hard".

"Bryce was their friend."

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