A day after TV Hill became the focal point of the news, Baltimore police said the man who threatened to blow up Fox45 had a fake bomb, and the message he wanted to get out was about the end of the world.
At a news conference Friday afternoon, Police Commissioner Kevin Davis identified the man as 25-year-old Alex Brizzi, of Elkridge. He is facing a host of charges for both the bomb threat he made in the vestibule of Fox45 studios in Woodberry, as well as a fire he set at a car in the parking lot.
Here’s what police filled in about the facts of the case:
Brizzi went to the station wearing a hedgehog onesie and surgical mask. Davis said that’s connected to an anime character.
Davis credited the security guard at the station for stopping Brizzi from entering the building by refusing to buzz him in, and alerting other personnel about what was going on while still talking to him.
Brizzi went to the station seeking to air contents on a flash drive. Davis said the drive contained videotaped rants in which Brizzi talked about the end of the world. He then revealed what looked like a device with wires that was designed to look like a bomb. In the end, it turned out to be a life vest filled with chocolate bars, and wrapped in aluminum. There was also a motherboard, which was probably taken for a smoke detector, Davis said.
Brizzi walked out of the building around 3 p.m., and was wounded by a police sniper. The bullets could have been lethal, but Brizzi’s body was wasn’t hit in an area where a gunshot wound is deadly, and he is expected to survive. Davis said authorities had to wait to give him help because he had his hand on what appeared to be a detonator.
Police didn’t have immediate answers about why Brizzi chose the outfit, or why he went to Fox 45. One idea Davis tossed out is that Fox45 is the closest of the TV Hill stations to the main road, so perhaps it was just the easiest to access. Even though the Internet quipped as the surreal situation unfolded, authorities had to treat it as a legitimate threat, and all involved were glad no one was hurt. Davis marveled at the security guard’s poise, and said he was going to try to hire him in what may or may not have been a joke of his own.
“It made for punchlines for people, but it was a serious situation for us,” said police spokesman TJ Smith.