‘Match Game’ contestants found dead after fellow contestant accidentally left live round in car

There were plenty of confrontations on the set of the TV show “Match Game” on Tuesday when a Montana sheriff showed up unannounced. But some of them had to do with the presence of…

There were plenty of confrontations on the set of the TV show “Match Game” on Tuesday when a Montana sheriff showed up unannounced. But some of them had to do with the presence of live rounds fired in a parking lot, Assistant Sheriff Charley Tufts said.

Capt. Aaron Williamson, a public information officer for the Arco Mankato Sheriff’s Office, told The Associated Press that the gun that was found on the backseat of a car Tuesday afternoon belonged to “Match Game” contestants Donald Hershey, 63, and Carol Schaub, 56. Both were dead, according to the sheriff’s office.

Patrick Hannon, 44, was arrested on suspicion of fatally shooting Hershey and Schaub. He has not been formally charged, the sheriff’s office said in a statement.

Apparently someone playing Match Game left a live round of ammunition in the backseat of their car, nearby. The car of two contestants was parked near a box stop, Arco Mankato police told @wctrib. @KSTP pic.twitter.com/A38S4CDTVv — Jared Hessler (@JaredHessler) August 29, 2018

While Hannon “did not intend to harm anyone,” the sheriff’s office said, he could face charges related to unsafe storage of a firearm.

NBC Sports, which produces “Match Game,” said it would pause production for the day. The show was scheduled to start Wednesday night.

The crime investigation was focused on Hannon, because he reportedly had the live rounds, according to Captain Brian Balizan, of the Arco Mankato Police Department. It remained unclear on Wednesday whether the two contestants in the car with the live rounds had knowledge of where they came from, Balizan said.

Hershey and Schaub had won the contestants’ section of a trivia competition hosted by “Match Game” host Alec Baldwin, who has also served as an executive producer of the show, NBC Sports announced in March. Hannon, a truck driver from Maryland, had appeared on the show multiple times, spokesman Chris McCloskey told the AP.

Tight security is supposed to ensure gun safety when shooting the show, McCloskey said. Per the show’s release, the contestants are required to relinquish all of their personal weapons on the first day of the episode, and each winner, as well as the audience members, are made to agree to surrender their guns after filming ends and the contest tapes the next morning. They’re then given the opportunity to borrow a gun while a member of the production staff hunts for the suspect’s weapon or weapon concealment devices.

In a statement, producers said they would “review how this tragic event occurred.”

Hershey was a graduate of Minot State University in North Dakota, where he was an acclaimed painter. Schaub had come to the show’s set with her girlfriend, the sheriff’s office said.

Arco Mankato police spokeswoman Robyn Kleven said Hannon parked his van in the parking lot while taking a woman home, then walked to the set with the live round of ammunition in the backseat. The trailer used for filming the trivia contest was nearby.

When one of the contestants noticed the ammunition in the car, she rolled it in a U-Haul into the parking lot, Balizan said. When an Arco Mankato public safety officer and two members of the security team saw the vehicle and Hannon walking out of the trailer with the ammunition, they called police.

A notice of investigation will remain open on the fatal shooting, Balizan said. If charges are filed against Hannon, the investigation could be extended into the course of the ongoing production. The last season of “Match Game” was set to run in November.

Because the condition of the ammunition was not immediately known, “you can’t say whether the shot that ended their lives was at close range or at a distance,” San Bernardino County Coroner Dr. Kelly Monaghan said. “You can’t rule anything out because there’s no way to tell.”

Read the full story at CNN.


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