The man shot and wounded by police after walking into a Baltimore TV station wearing an animal costume and a fake bomb will be charged with two felonies and several other crimes, authorities announced Friday.
Baltimore Police have issued an arrest warrant for 25-year-old Alex Michael Brizzi of Elkridge, Maryland, charging him with second-degree arson, malicious burning felony and six misdemeanors.
Brizzi was shot after spending two hours in a glass vestibule inside the TV station. As he left the station and walked toward SWAT officers, they gave him "many, many verbal commands" to stop, Baltimore Police Commissioner Kevin Davis said.
Three officers fired at Brizzi, who was shot three times, Davis said.
"Brizzi went down, but kept his hand on some sort of detonator device," Davis said. "He was conscious and alert as officers gave commands to him."
Davis said they had to wait to render first aid because he still appeared to have his hand on a device and had what appeared to be explosives strapped to his body, and responders disarmed him using a bomb squad robot.
Davis said he was taken to a hospital in serious but stable condition.
Brizzi is expected to survive, his father, Edward Brizzi, said.
The elder Brizzi says his son believed the world was ending and might have been trying to get the message out, telling news outlets after the shooting that his son had a breakdown two weeks ago and said he had a vision from God that the world would end next month.
Police said the man barricaded himself inside the station after it was evacuated and his car became engulfed in flames outside as police, fire, arson, bomb squad and SWAT teams arrived. Police don't know what caused the fire.
Edward Brizzi said he didn't know why his son chose Fox affiliate WBFF-TV on Baltimore's TV hill.
"I think what it is he wanted to go to a media outlet so he pass his message on that the world's going to end on June the third," he told WBFF-TV.
Alex Brizzi — wearing a surgical mask and what Davis said was a hedgehog suit "associated with the Japanese anime culture" — gave a flash drive to a security guard and told him he wanted the station to broadcast its contents.
Police say they later determined that what Brizzi claimed to be a bomb consisted of aluminum-wrapped chocolate bars duct-taped to a life preserver. Wiring in the device appeared to led to the motherboard from what appeared to be from taken a smoke detector, Davis said Friday. Wires running from the man's sleeve was attached to what appeared to be a detonator-type device, Davis said.
The flash drive, which contained video rants of Brizzi talking about the end of the world, was still being examined by police, Davis said.
The security guard, a contractor for the station, talked to Brizzi for about 45 minutes and was able to evacuate the station and contact 911 during that time. He then was able escape through a back door.
Davis praised the guard for keeping calm and talking to the suspect for so long, calling him "absolutely a hero" and saying he wanted to try to hire him.
Edward Brizzi told media outlets that his son broke up with his girlfriend about two weeks ago and appeared to have a breakdown. Several days later, he was found sleeping in a neighbor's yard and it took seven police officers to hold him down as he was taken to a local hospital, Edward Brizzi said.
Brizzi said his son, who lives in the basement of his home, had been reserved since his breakdown, but he didn't have any way of making a bomb and his father didn't know he was planning anything like this.
"What he was doing was probably putting himself out there thinking that he wanted to die, I think," he told the station.
His wife found something with wires in their son's room Wednesday night when their son was out, but they didn't think anything of it, Edward Brizzi said.
"It just didn't connect," he said.
Edward Brizzi said he agrees with how police handled the situation.
"They've got to do their job, they can't assume it's candy bars wrapped around his side," Edward Brizzi said. "I'm a firm believer in police."
Edward Brizzi said he and his wife couldn't force Alex Brizzi to get treatment after his breakdown since he is an adult, but he said he believes his son will go to a mental health center after his recovery.
"We really didn't think he was a risk to himself, and he's never been a risk to anyone else," he said.