An NBC News segment was suddenly cut off after an enraged man violently confronted NBC News correspondent Shaquille Brewster on Monday during a live report on the devastating damage unleashed by Hurricane Ida.
With large swaths of Louisiana and Mississippi plunged into darkness and decimated after the Category 4 Ida made landfall on Sunday, Brewster was reporting live from a beach in Gulfport, Mississippi, on Monday morning.
Explaining that the rain had stopped in the area and mail delivery had returned in Gulfport, Brewster reported that the mayor of the town was still enforcing a curfew as they surveyed the damage. At the same time, a pickup truck pulled over in the background of Brewster’s shot, with a large, middle-aged man jumping out of the vehicle and running towards the NBC News crew.
Keeping his composure, Brewster attempted to continue to deliver his report on the hurricane’s aftermath, but the man eventually grew disruptive and began shouting at both the camera crew and the reporter.
Speaking to MSNBC anchor Craig Melvin, Brewster said he was going to need to throw it back to the studio as the man’s behavior was making it impossible to finish his segment. At that point, the guy flew into an incoherent rage and got into Brewster’s face, seemingly yelling at the correspondent to “report it accurately!”
As one of the crew members tried to grab the heckler as he ran menacingly towards Brewster, the control room quickly pulled away from the scene and back to a shocked Melvin.
“Hey! Hey, hey, hey, hey, hey, hey, hey,” a concerned Melvin exclaimed. “We’re going to check in with Shaq Brewster just to make sure all is well. There is a lot of crazy out there. There is a lot of crazy!”
After conducting an interview with Rep. Troy Carter (D-LA) about hurricane damage assessment and rescue efforts, Melvin informed MSNBC’s audience that Brewster was fine in the wake of the scary incident.
“You probably saw or heard a few moments ago, one of our correspondents was disrupted by some wacky guy during his live shot there in Mississippi,” Melvin said following the Carter interview. “Pleased to report that Shaquille Brewster is just fine. Shaq is okay.”
Melvin would later tweet that the unidentified Mississippi man’s behavior was “unacceptable and disgusting,” adding that the guy is “clearly not” okay.
Brewster, meanwhile, would take to Twitter to also reassure worried viewers that he and his team were “all good.”
MSNBC President Rashida Jones, meanwhile, provided the following statement: “Shaq Brewster is an exceptional journalist. Like the consummate professional, he did not let someone intimidate him from doing his job. We’re glad he and the team are safe, and we couldn’t be more proud and supportive of their work.”
After seeking help from the public in identifying the man who angrily confronted Brewster, the Gulfport Police Department announced that the individual had been identified. They did not immediately release his name.