By Marcus Dieterle
Baltimore Watchdog Staff Writer
A man who threatened to blow up the Fox 45 headquarters in Baltimore was taken into custody today after being shot by police.
UPDATED (April 29, 2016) T. J. Smith, a spokesperson for the Baltimore Police Department, said earlier this week that Brizzi was taken to an area hospital after he was shot by a police sniper as he left the Fox 45 building at 2000 W. 41st St. The suspect was in serious but stable condition and is expected to survive, police said.
In addition to the sniper, three other police officers fired one shot each at the suspect when he failed to comply with police orders to stop, Smith said. Police said during a press conference on Thursday that Brizzi was hit at least three times.
The suspect was reportedly wearing a surgical mask, an animal onesie and a coat underneath the outfit with what appeared to be an explosive device, Smith said.
Police were later able to confirm that the supposed explosive was actually a red flotation device attached to a motherboard, wires, and candy bars wrapped in aluminum foil, Smith said.
Smith said police received a call at 1:20 p.m. today reporting that a man in the vestibule area of the Fox building was requesting that information he had on a flash drive be aired on the television news.
At the same time, a vehicle with a rag in its gas pipe was set on fire outside of the building, police said. The vehicle fire did not result in an explosion and fire officials were able to extinguish the flames.
Police have not yet identifies whether the vehicle was owned by the suspect, but have confirmed that the vehicle fire is connected to the suspect, Smith said.
After the suspect entered the building, Smith said, a security guard kept him engaged in the vestibule area while Fox 45 employees and all other individuals in the building were able to evacuate.
The security guard was subsequently able to evacuate the building. Police have been able to account for everyone who was in the building, Smith said.
Shortly after 3 p.m., the suspect exited the building. Police ordered the suspect to stop but he failed to comply with officers’ commands, Smith said.
A police sniper shot the suspect. Three officers fired at the suspect and at least three shots were fired, according to Smith.
Smith said that the suspect remained lying on the ground with his hand in his pocket where, at the time, police believed he was holding a device connected to explosives.
Police deployed a robot to get a closer view of the suspect and the potential explosive device, Smith said.
Once the scene was secured, Smith said the suspect was taken into police custody. The suspect’s motive for targeting Fox 45 has not yet been determined.
The Baltimore Police Department is working with the State’s Attorney’s office to charge the suspect.