Baltimore Police ID bomb threat suspect, announce charges


    The device worn by Alex Brizzi that he claimed was a bomb. (Baltimore Police Department)

    BALTIMORE (WBFF) - Alex Brizzi, the 25-year-old suspect in Thursday's bomb threat at FOX45, will be charged with second-degree arson, first-degree malicious burning and threat of arson, as well as four counts of reckless endangerment and one count of possessing a phony destructive device, police announced.

    The suspect, whose identity was confirmed by police on Friday, was shot in front of the FOX45 building following an hours-long standoff. It began around 1:15 p.m. Thursday when the suspect entered through the front doors after lighting his car on fire in the station parking lot. He demanded that the station air the contents of a flash drive in his possession.

    Police say the drive contained video rants of Brizzi talking about the end of the world.

    Investigators say he was wearing a life preserver outfitted with wires and chocolate bars and had a motherboard taken from a smoke detector. A photo of the device was shown by police at the Friday press briefing.

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    Brizzi also wore what witnesses described as a "hedgehog onesie." Police say the outfit appears to be associated with anime culture.

    Barred by security from entering the building past the front vestibule, Brizzi walked back outside around 3 p.m., into the middle of West 41st Street. Investigators say he was shot after repeatedly refusing to comply with police orders and refusing to remove his hands from his pockets.

    On Friday Baltimore Police Commissioner Kevin Davis praised the actions of FOX45 security guard Jay Apostolides, calling him a "hero."

    "He stayed engaged with this person and simultaneously evacuated the building," Davis said. "That's impressive."

    According to Davis, Brizzi was shot at least three times after exiting the building and advancing on officers with a hand in his pocket, repeatedly failing to comply with commands.

    When Brizzi was struck down by gunfire, police dispatched a robot to communicate with him, fearing the device strapped to his chest was a bomb.

    Several minutes passed and Brizzi continued to ignore commands, police said, prompting law enforcement to hold medics back in fear of their safety.

    "He was described as conscious and alert, just uncooperative," Baltimore Police spokesperson TJ Smith said Thursday. "He was saying no when we were asking him to comply."

    When Brizzi complied, the robot disarmed him of his vest.

    The 25-year-old Howard County man was transported to a hospital in serious condition. On Friday he remained in the hospital.

    Police say they will release his mugshot once he is discharged.

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