UPDATED: 6:29 p.m. EDT -- The man wearing a panda outfit who said he had a bomb before being shot Thursday by Baltimore police has been hospitalized and is in stable condition, the CBS News reported. The suspect has been identified only as a white male who is 25 years old.
— MeghanWJZ (@MeghanWJZ) April 28, 2016
After the suspect was wounded by police gunfire, it was determined that he was actually carrying candy bars wrapped in aluminum foil that were mistaken for an explosive device, Baltimore police said during a news conference.
UPDATE: Baltimore police say "bomb" suspect at TV station was carrying candy bars wrapped in aluminum foil pic.twitter.com/b8mjK8vEL3
— CBS Evening News (@CBSEveningNews) April 28, 2016
A man wearing a panda outfit with an attached device thought to be an explosive was shot by Baltimore police Thursday afternoon when he exited a TV station, where he told employees he had important information to share, the Baltimore Sun reported. The man reportedly suffered non-life-threatening injuries after he failed to comply with police orders upon walking out of the building.
The apparent bomb threat turned out to be not credible, but because the suspect — who was also wearing what appeared to be a surgical mask over his face — ignored police orders, law enforcement shot him. The video of the shooting showed the suspect kept walking after being hit by multiple bullets. The building was evacuated, but there were no immediate reports of any other injuries.
Watch the fateful scene unfold below.
The shooting took place right outside the offices of WBFF-TV (Fox 45 TV news), shortly after the suspect, who could be seen waiting inside the building's vestibule, walked out after having spent some time inside, where he gave a security guard a flash drive. The contents of the flash drive were immediately unclear, but there has been speculation the suspect said it had something to do with the so-called Panama Papers, according to the TV station's news director.
— Reuters Top News (@Reuters) April 28, 2016
“Someone came into the front of the building and they apparently said that they had some information they wanted to get on the air,” the Washington Post reported Mike Tomko said. “I came down at one point not knowing the person was in the lobby, near the vestibule area. 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. 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.”
— CBS News (@CBSNews) April 28, 2016
The device that had been identified as a possible explosive may have not been a bomb at all, according to a tweet from a local news reporter.
Vest worn by bomb threat suspect may have been packed with candy bars..according to source...to give appearance of explosive
— Jayne Miller (@jemillerwbal) April 28, 2016
The episode followed a vehicle nearby being set on fire from igniting a rag that was positioned inside the gas tank. The shooting also came one day after Baltimore police shot a boy who was wielding a B.B. gun. That shooting took place on the one-year anniversary of the riots that broke out across the city following the funeral of Freddie Gray, the African-American man who sustained a fatal spinal injury in the back of a police transport vehicle after being arrested for having a small knife, which is not a crime in the city.