Police sniper shoots man in panda suit who says he has bomb at TV station

BALTIMORE (AP) — A police 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, authorities said Thursday.

The man was alive and conscious and communicating with authorities through a robot designed to detect explosives, said Baltimore Police Department spokesman T.J. Smith.

Smith said officers and paramedics were not planning to approach the man until they could determine whether he had an explosive device and whether any such device had been neutralized.

The man walked into the lobby of a Fox television affiliate on Thursday and made a complaint about the government, Smith said. He then walked outside, followed by heavily armed officers. The sound of loud bangs could be heard on television broadcasts that later showed the man lying on the ground.

The suspect was shot after he refused repeated demands to show his hands, Smith said.