'Cops' Crew Member Killed By 'Friendly Fire' ... Shot by Omaha Cop

8/27/2014 1:15 PM PDT

'Cops' Crew Member -- Killed By 'Friendly Fire' ... Shot by Omaha Cop

Breaking News

Omaha police say the "Cops" crew member who was shot and killed during a police shootout with an armed robbery suspect was hit by gunfire from police ... NOT from the suspect's weapon.

Omaha PD just held a news conference to discuss the details surrounding the death of Bryce Dion -- a sound supervisor who was part of a 2-person "Cops" camera crew. They called it a tragic case of "friendly fire."

According to police ... Dion and his partner were riding with a patrol unit that responded to the armed robbery call at a Wendy's. Police say Dion was in the entryway of the restaurant when the suspect fired shots ... and police returned fire with multiple rounds.

Investigators say Dion was caught in the crossfire ... hit by a bullet or bullets from a police weapon. They say Dion was wearing an armored vest, but the bullet went through the arm hole of the vest.

Omaha PD was also adamant -- the officers were NOT showing off for the camera when they opened fire on the suspect -- who also died from gunshot wounds.

Police say the suspect was firing an Airsoft pellet gun ... something the responding officers didn't know at the time. 

'Cops' creator John Langley was at the news conference and said other crew members -- who've been taping in Omaha for 2 months -- are getting counseling. Police released still images from the 'Cops' camera footage.