Silver Spring MD: Discovery Channel Evacuated, Hostage Taking
The Discovery Channel Building HQ in Silver Spring Maryland Was Ordered to Evacuate After Reports of An Armed Man Inside
Update: 2:50pm PT - James Jay Lee is dead.
Police report that at one point during the negotiations, Lee pulled out his handgun and pointed it at one of the hostages and the police shot Lee dead.
Police report that at least four devices, two boxes and two backpacks, still have to be investigated to determine if they are explosives.
Discovery praised the police for a 'professional operation' and confirmed all their employees are safe and accounted for.
Update: 2:01pm PT - All hostages have now been released, and James Lee is in custody. Some reports state that Lee was shot, while others report that one of the explosive devices has gone off. Lee's condition is not known at this time.
During a press conference officials stated that Lee had a 'wide range of emotions' over the course of the negotiations.
The building has not been declared safe due to the range of devices Lee brought into the building with him. Lee has not been brought out of the building.
WTOP is reporting that at about 10:15am, a man walked into the lobby of the Discovery Channel Building in Silver Springs with a weapon and possibly explosives. The building is located at 1 Discovery Place (map) and has 1,900 employees. All roads around the building are closed, buses are being diverted and the Silver Spring Metro station remains open but the south entrance is closed.
- There are now confirmed reports that the gunman has been identified as James Jay Lee.
- James Jay Lee's Manifesto Based on Daniel Quinn's My Ishmael
The employees received an e-mail telling them that it was believed there was an armed man in the building, and all employees should take cover in a locked office. The building has now been mostly evacuated.
WJLA is reporting that several shots were fired by the alleged gunman and he was carrying 'tanks' on his back, but police have not confimed any shots were fired. At an afternoon press conference Corporal Dan Fritz from the Montgomery County Police Department said that the man's concerns 'are with the Discovery Corporation at this time' and James Lee has a history of protesting the organization.
There are reports on CNN that the man has taken 'a small number of hostages' and that he has a 'suspicious device' on his body.
One of the hostages has been confirmed to be a security guard.
Police do have a visual of Lee on closed-circuit TV. He is wearing a green shirt and is short, and police do have a vocal connection with him. There may be some other potential devices with Lee or near him as there are 'suspicious bags' seen on the TV nearby.
CNN spoke to a woman across the street who told them that there are heavily armed police officers around the building with several K-9 units. The roads around the complex are completely closed but she said that they had not seen anyone evacuate the building at this time. There were people in the Discovery Channel Building looking out the windows earlier but they are no longer visible to anyone across the street.
The Discovery Channel Daycare, with about 100 children in attendance, has been safely evacuated to a nearby McDonald's.
We will update this story when we have more information available.