On April 28, 2016 a man wearing a panda or hedgehog suit set a car on fire before walking into the offices of Baltimore’s Fox News affiliate. He claimed that he had information on a flash drive that he wanted the news to air regarding black holes and the sun. He tore open his suit and revealed what appeared to have been a bomb to a security contractor working at the front of the building.
The security contractor managed to keep the man calm as he quietly alerted other employees to evacuate the building. Police arrived at the Fox45 studio shortly after the employees were alerted to the bomb threat.
The man, later identified as 25-year-old Alex Brizzi, was uncooperative with police and refused to follow police orders to drop to the ground upon exiting the building. Police were forced to shoot Brizzi three times and a bomb detecting robot was sent to clear the area before police approached the suspect.
The robot stripped Brizzi of his clothing. Officers were cleared to approach the man, whereupon they realized that the bomb was a fake. Alex was wearing candy bars mounted to a life preserver with smoke alarm wires attached to a motherboard. Police continued to talk with Brizzi after he sustained the three non-fatal shots as help arrived to take him to an area hospital.
On the flash drive in Alex’s pocket were what police described as rants detailing the end of the world. According to Brizzi’s father, his son had been having a hard time dealing with a recent breakup with his girlfriend and had tried to kill himself in the past, but hadn’t had any problems with the law up until the bomb threat.
He is now facing felony charges including arson, reckless endangerment and possession of a phony destructive device.
An audio version of this story as well as footage related to the standoff can be found on the video below.