A man in a panda suit who said he has a bomb strapped to his chest has caused an evacuation at Fox45 headquarters in Baltimore at around 1 p.m. on April 28. The station is the Fox network’s affiliate in the city.
Just after 3 p.m. the suspect emerged from the building and was shot four times by a Baltimore sniper. The shot was not fatal and the man was alive and conscious. No medical treatment was immediately given because he “still posed a threat,” according to police. Reporters at the scene described the suspect lying in the street while Baltimore PD robots removed his clothing. An hour after he was wounded, he was put into a police armored vehicle. He was later taken from the scene in an ambulance.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. The Bomb Was Not Real & Was Comprised of Candy Bars
Staff at Fox Baltimore were tweeting during the incident. They were told there was a suspicious man in the building’s lobby and that he told someone inside that he had a bomb strapped to his body. WBAL’s Jayne Miller quoted a source saying the “bomb” may have been packed with candy bars. That report was later confirmed by authorities.
Fox Baltimore reports that the man told a security guard that he was going to “blow up” the building.
Authorities say that the suspect didn’t take his hands out of his pockets when he left the building and “had some type of device in his hand.”
2. He Was Upset With the Outcome of the April 26 Primary
The suspect had a flash drive to give to the station, reports The Baltimore Sun’s Pamela Wood.
Fox Baltimore photographer Paul Gessler sent a tweet that confirmed none of the staff had been hurt.
Building security guard, Jourael Apostolides, told Fox Baltimore’s Shelley Orman that the suspect is “upset with the government.” It later emerged that the man had been upset with the result of the April 26 presidential primaries. His party affiliation has not been uncovered. The voting was won by Hillary Clinton for the Democratic party, defeating Bernie Sanders. While the Republicans went for Donald Trump over John Kasich and Ted Cruz.
He added that the suspect was holding a “trigger.”
After being downed by a sniper, a police spokesman said that the suspect still refused to co-operate with authorities.
3. There Was Also a Car Fire in the Building’s Parking Lot
Fox employee Chris Berinato told the station’s reporter Shelley Orman that he saw a car on fire in the parking lot. He says he went inside to tell Apostolides when the guard told him there was a suspicious man in the lobby. Apostolides told WBAL, “My first thought was to get him out. My first instinct was to make sure he keeps his cool head.”
According to Baltimore police, the vehicle was set on fire when a rag was ignited and put in the gas tank.
Berinato described the suspect as being dressed in “some kind of body suit” and a mask. WBAL reports that he was also wearing combat boots.
Fox Baltimore later reported on their website that the fire had been extinguished.
4. The Building Is Being Swarmed by City Police
The building is located on 41st Street just off the Jones Falls Expressway in an area known as “Television Hill.” WJZ-TV and WBAL-TV are also located in the area, the Woodberry neighborhood in northern Baltimore.
City police, tactical units and bomb squad have all descended on the building.
5. This Incident Comes a Day After a 13-Year-Old Boy Was Shot by Baltimore Police
This incident comes a day after a 13-year-old boy was shot by city police in Baltimore, according to WJZ-TV. The shooting took place close to McKim Community Center in the northeast part of the city. The boy with was holding a replica Beretta gun. Commissioner Kevin Davis told the media that officers pursued the teen and identified themselves before opening fire. Davis also emphasized the fact that the toy was a dead ringer for a real pistol.
Fox Baltimore’s offices are located about 5 miles north of where the teenager was shot. The young teen is expected to survive. The shooting occurred a week after the anniversary of Freddie Gray’s death at the hands of Baltimore cops in 2015.