A crew member working on the New York set of Law & Order: Organized Crime died after being shot in his car on Tuesday, July 19.
“We were terribly saddened and shocked to hear that one of our crew members was the victim of a crime early this morning and has died as a result,” a spokesperson for NBC and Universal Television told Us Weekly in a statement. “We are working with local law enforcement as they continue to investigate. Our hearts go out to his family and friends and we ask that you respect their privacy during this time.”
The victim, who was 31 at the time of his death, was a parking enforcement worker, according to police reports. He was sitting in a car on the show’s New York set in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, around 5:15 a.m. when he was shot. Forty-five minutes later, after being rushed to the hospital, he was pronounced dead. The man has not yet been identified pending family notification, per Deadline. Production has been shut down for the rest of the day.
The tragedy occurred two months before the premiere of the procedural drama’s third season, which is set to air in September.
The spinoff series features Christopher Meloni as Detective Elliott Stabler (in a crossover role from Law & Order: Special Victims Unit) and Danielle Moné Truitt as Sergeant Ayanna Bell. Ainsley Seiger, Dylan McDermott, Mike Cannon, Rachel Lin, Ellyn Burstein and more also star. Stabler’s right-hand woman, Captain Olivia Benson — who has been portrayed by SVU lead Mariska Hargitay for more than 20 years — has appeared on 10 episodes of the spinoff.
The premise of the show revolves around Stabler’s new position at the Organized Crime Task Force, where he desperately searches for his wife’s killers.
Meloni, 61, initially exited SVU after 2011’s season 12 and has no regrets. In terms of how much he missed the series — on which he portrayed Stabler for 13 years — the Washington, D.C. native revealed: “Zero.”
“I would have no problem admitting to it. But I was pleasantly surprised it played out as well as it did,” the actor, who went on to star on True Blood and The Handmaid’s Tale, told Entertainment Weekly in 2021. “I must say, the intervening decade was everything I could have hoped for.”
Ten years after his departure, however, Meloni not only returned to SVU — but was back with his own show: Organized Crime. What made him decide to step into Stabler’s shoes a decade later?
“When [L&O creator Dick Wolf] pitched this more serialized expression of his latest idea of a Law & Order show, the OC, I really thought it was kind of a stroke of genius,” the Man of Steel star revealed at the TCA Summer Press Tour in September 2021. “I didn’t think that was even anything he was thinking about. I was pleasantly pleased and surprised and excited when I got the pitch and it was just on the basis of the type of storytelling that the OC allows us. I just think it allows for a little more in-depth analysis of characters and relationships and that kind of stuff.”
As soon as he put on his beloved character’s badge, Meloni told EW, he immediately knew he was back where he was supposed to be.
“It felt great, a surprising sense of freedom,” the NBC star shared. “It was a very interesting feeling because I rarely get it. It was just kind of a weird sign that everything’s right, and I was where I belonged.”