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Spouse of Sacramento Kings broadcaster tried to influence police

The spouse, Sacramento firefighter Joseph Hunter, was suspended without pay after a shooting at the couple's home in 2019.

The spouse, Sacramento firefighter Joseph Hunter, was suspended without pay after a shooting at the couple's home in 2019.

NBC Sports California broadcaster Kayte Christensen (right) appears in a social media photograph. (Photo via Instagram, Graphic by The Desk)

The firefighter spouse of a prominent NBC Sports broadcaster tried to use personal connections to dissuade a police investigation into a shooting at their home in 2019, according to a report published this week.

The incident purportedly happened during a party in 2019 at the residence of Kayte Hunter, a broadcast analyst who covers Sacramento Kings basketball games for the regional sports network NBC Sports California.

Hunter, who goes by the name Kayte Christensen-Hunter on-air, reportedly grabbed a gun during the party and shot an opossum, triggering a police response to the home.

According to a report published by the Sacramento Bee on Tuesday, Hunter’s husband, firefighter Joseph Hunter, tried to influence police to leave the home without an investigation by leveraging “personal friendships.”

An investigation was launched into the firefighter’s attempt to dissuade police from probing the shooting, and he was suspended for two days without pay from the Sacramento Fire Department, the Bee reported. It was not clear from the article if anyone was charged in connection with the shooting.

The shooting at the Hunter residence was not previously reported until the Bee offered some details into the incident as part of a broader story exploring the weak disciplinary process of the Sacramento Fire Department.

The overall piece was focused on several new firefighter recruits who, upon graduate, trespassed into a cement water tower, swam in potent drinking water and defaced the walls of the tower. Like Hunter, the firefighters in that incident were given a two-day, unpaid suspension, despite causing more than $65,000 in damage to the tower.

The Bee report didn’t say if Christensen-Hunter’s spouse leveraged her work as a Kings broadcaster for NBC Sports or if there were other personal connections that the couple tried to employ.

At the time of the shooting, Christensen-Hunter worked as an analyst during pre-game, post-game and halftime coverage of Kings games, as well as a fill-in sideline reporter. She was promoted to on-air commentator for Kings broadcasts starting with the 2021-22 season.

Editor’s note: The web address for this article initially contained a typo in Kayte Christensen-Hunter’s name, which did not appear in the article itself. The web address was corrected late Tuesday evening.

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About the Author:

Matthew Keys

Matthew Keys is the publisher of The Desk and reports on the business and policy matters involving the broadcast television, streaming video and radio industries. He previously worked for Thomson Reuters, Disney-ABC, Tribune Broadcasting and McNaughton Newspapers. Matthew is based in Northern California, has won numerous awards in the field of journalism, and is a member of IRE (Investigative Reporters and Editors).