Erroneous Reports About Tom Petty's Death Cause Confusion - NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth

Erroneous Reports About Tom Petty's Death Cause Confusion

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Tom Petty, known for hits such as "Free Fallin'," "American Girl" and "Into the Great Wide Open," died Monday. He was 66. Petty sold over 80 million records during his decades in the music business. (Published Tuesday, Oct. 3, 2017)

    For several hours Monday before the official announcement of rocker Tom Petty's death came, many music lovers believed he had already died.

    Courtney Love, Talib Kweli, Kid Rock, Cyndi Lauper, Paul Stanley and Lin-Manuel Miranda were among scores of fans posting remembrances on Twitter, where Petty was the top worldwide trending topic Monday afternoon. A memorial was scheduled for his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

    But the 66-year-old entertainer apparently was still alive then, and news outlets that announced his death early retracted their stories later. The Walk of Fame tribute was canceled.

    The confusion started with CBS News and the Los Angeles Police Department. CBS published Petty's obituary after tweeting that the LAPD had confirmed his death. The trade paper Variety followed, citing an unnamed source confirming the rocker's death.

    Damian Dovarganes/AP

    Then the LAPD issued a statement saying it had no information on Petty's condition and that "initial information was inadvertently provided to some media sources."

    "We apologize for any inconvenience in this reporting," the department said.

    CBS and Variety amended their stories. Also, CBS News released a statement maintaining that it "reported information obtained officially from the LAPD about Tom Petty."

    "The LAPD later said it was not in a position to confirm information about the singer," the statement said.

    Petty's manager, Tony Dimitriades, released an official announcement early Tuesday that the rockstar died Monday evening after experiencing cardiac arrest.

    An LAPD spokesman said in an interview Monday that its representatives did not respond to any incident involving Petty. Officer Tony Im said he could not rule out that someone in the department spoke to reporters, but said the LAPD has no investigative role in the matter.

    Fire officials had said they responded to an emergency call for a man experiencing cardiac arrest on the block where Petty lives in Malibu on Sunday night, but could not confirm it was the rocker who was taken to a local hospital.