Man in Hedgehog Costume Holds Baltimore News Station Hostage
The man claims to have a bomb.
A Baltimore news station was evacuated Thursday, after a man in a hedgehog onesie entered the building claiming to have a bomb. The man handed a security guard a flash drive with astronomy information, claiming that the government had lied. After leaving the station, the man was shot by a police counter-sniper.
Although he was still alive on the ground outside the station, he was not complying with police requests. The suspect has now been removed from the scene.
“Why did he do this? We don’t know the answer to that,” TJ Smith, media relations director for Baltimore’s police force, told reporters. Smith described the man as a white male, appearing to be in his 20s.
Local WJZ reporter George Soliz tweeted that Fox 45 was being held hostage. CBS Baltimore is currently livestreaming the situation.
Fox 45 reporter Paul Gessler took to Periscope earlier to livestream a car fire in the nearby parking lot. Smith told reporters that there was a rag found. It is unclear how, if at all, the fire is connected to the hostage situation, but Soliz reports that the fire has been extinguished.
According to WJZ reports, the man entered the station vestibule, speaking to a security guard for a while. The man gave the guard a flash drive, with information relating to astronomy, telling the guard that the government had a lot of things wrong about outer space. “It was him talking to a camera, just letting us known that the government is hiding things,” he said.
“He pretty much said he had a bomb on him and he had a message that needed to be heard,” the security guard told WJZ reporters.
Even though the man said he had a bomb, he also said did not want to hurt anyone. Smith confirmed that the man displayed what appeared to be wires, but could not confirm that the man had a bomb. After this, the man left the station.
Gessler then tweeted that he heard three loud shots from outside the station.
Soliz uploaded a video of his camera crew taking cover, stating that it appears the man is down. Fox 45’s chief meteorologist Vytas Reid told reporters that the man is still alive.
Smith told reporters that he was shot with a counter-sniper, but that he is not deceased. Police sent a robot over to the suspect currently on the ground, speaking to him through the robot, but he was not complying with police requests. The police used the robot to move the suspect’s hand away from his body, so that he could not activate any potential bomb.
Soliz reports that employees are still planning to broadcast this evening.