The man who was shot four times by a sniper Thursday after saying he had a bomb inside a Baltimore TV station believed the world is soon going to end and wanted a message broadcast, a man who said he was the suspect’s father told NBC News.
Alex Brizzi, 25, was set to undergo exploratory surgery Thursday night, Edward Brizzi said in a phone interview. Alex Brizzi was shot in the neck, wrist, buttock and right leg, he said.
Baltimore police would not release or confirm the suspect’s identity, because no charges have been filed in the incident, police spokesman Danny Moses said.
Alex, wearing a panda costume, allegedly entered the WBFF-TV office, said he had a bomb and tried to handover a flash drive he said contained information about a government cover-up. The hoax bomb turned out to be chocolate bars wrapped in aluminum foil.
“About two weeks ago, Alex came to me and said that he had a revelation from God and Jesus that there was going to be a terrible event,” Edward Brizzi said.
Alex said that the world was going to end on June 3, and that he needed to get the message out and to save some people, his father said. “We were watching him after that,” Edward Brizzi said. But three days later, he went for a walk and ended up in a neighbor’s yard, and was restrained by authorities and hospitalized for four days, Edward Brizzi said.
On the flash drive it said something about the world ending and people needing to repent, he said.
Edward Brizzi described his son Alex as “really a nice kid.” He got custody of his son when Alex Brizzi was 16, and said his son’s mother has a history of mental illness.
“He was really nice, never argued, never fought, never hurt anybody,” Edward said about his son. He said Alex changed after the breakdown several weeks ago.
Alex Brizzi entered the lobby of the FOX-TV studio at around 1:20 p.m. Thursday, and said he wanted to share contents of a flash drive, a security guard said.
The guard stopped him from getting into the newsroom and quietly called 911. When a SWAT team arrived the intruder barricaded himself in the vestibule.
“I came down at one point not knowing the person was in the lobby, near the vestibule area,” WBFF News Director Mike Tomko told reporters. “He talked to me and was wearing what appears to be a full body white panda suit, surgical mask and sunglasses.”
“He had a flash drive, said he had information he wanted to get on the air. He compared it to the information found in the Panama Papers,” Tomko added. “I told him, ‘I can’t let you in, you’re going to have to leave the flash drive here and slide it through the opening.’ He wouldn’t do that. Apparently he had made some threats before.”
He was shot after he walked out into the street with what appeared to be a bomb, Baltimore police spokesman T.J. Smith said.
Edward Brizzi said that the events of Thursday are very much out of character for his son.