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Reports: Man in Panda Suit Makes Bomb Threat, Gets Shot on Live TV

UPDATE — 6 p.m.

Authorities say the “bomb” a man claimed to be wearing when he walked into a television station wearing an animal costume was in reality a red flotation device stuffed with chocolate candy bars wrapped in aluminum foil.

Baltimore Police Department spokesman T.J. Smith said a police sniper shot the man Thursday after he refused to put his hands up. Smith said that after a robot removed the suspicious garment, the man was taken to a local hospital, where he was in serious but stable condition.

Smith says the man walked into the lobby of WBFF-TV on Baltimore’s Television Hill about 1:20 p.m. wearing a panda costume, the red garment, and a surgical mask.

He says the man gave a flash drive to a security guard and said he wanted the station to broadcast it. Smith does not know what was on the flash drive.

Smith described the suspect as a 25-year-old white male from Howard County. He says he will not be identified until he is charged.

*****

UPDATE — 5 p.m.

A man wearing a full animal costume and surgical mask and displaying what appeared to be an explosive device on his chest has been taken away in an ambulance after being shot by a police sniper outside a Baltimore TV station.

The suspect lay in the street for more than an hour Thursday afternoon, as shown on video from the scene near WBFF-TV on Baltimore’s TV Hill. Police sent a robot designed to detect explosives to the man, and the robot could be seen rolling away carrying a red vest with duct tape and wires. It could not be determined immediately whether the vest had active explosives.

Police spokesman T.J. Smith said the man walked into the lobby of a Fox television affiliate on Thursday and made a complaint about the government. He says the suspect then walked outside, and was shot after he refused repeated demands to show his hands. Smith says he doesn’t know how many times the man was hit or where on his body he was hit.

*****

BALTIMORE (AP) — Baltimore police say a department sniper shot a man who walked into a TV station lobby wearing a full animal costume and surgical mask and displaying what appeared to be an explosive device on his chest.

Department spokesman T.J. Smith said the man is alive and conscious and communicating with authorities through a robot designed to detect explosives.

Smith says officers and paramedics cannot approach the man until they can determine he doesn’t have an explosive device or until any such device has been neutralized.

Smith said the man walked into the lobby of a Fox television affiliate on Thursday and made a complaint about the government. Police say the suspect walked outside, followed by heavily armed officers.

Smith says the suspect was shot after he refused repeated demands to show his hands.

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