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By LIZ ROBBINS and BRIAN STELTER
Published: September 1, 2010
Police officers shot and killed a gunman with a history of protesting against the Discovery Channel, the authorities said, ending a nearly four-hour ordeal on Wednesday at the company’s headquarters in Silver Spring, Md. The gunman, apparently wearing explosives, had taken two employees and a security guard hostage, officials said.
Montgomery County Police Chief Thomas Manger held a news conference near the Discovery Communications building after a gunman was shot dead and his hostages released in the building in Silver Spring, Md.
The hostages, all men, were unharmed.
The police negotiated by phone throughout the afternoon with the gunman, who was on the first floor, as the rest of the 1,900 employees and the children in the day care center were leaving the building.
At 4:48 p.m., believing the hostages were in danger, the police shot the gunman, Chief J. Thomas Manger of the Montgomery County police said at a news conference.
Chief Manger said it had been reported that the man pulled out a handgun and pointed it at one of the hostages. “At that point,” he said, “our tactical units moved in. They shot the suspect. The suspect is deceased.”
Police officials said the company had identified the gunman to them as James J. Lee. A Web site run by Mr. Lee, SaveThePlanetProtest.com, was established in January 2008. The Web site complains that the Discovery Channel produces programs about the environment for profit, not for humanitarian reasons.
The Montgomery County state’s attorney said Mr. Lee was arrested in February 2008 and later convicted of disorderly conduct after a protest outside the Discovery Channel. Without using Mr. Lee’s name, Chief Manger said the gunman on Wednesday was the same person who was arrested in 2008.
The state’s attorney said that as a condition of Mr. Lee’s probation, which ended two weeks ago, he was barred from going within 500 feet of the Discovery headquarters. The authorities said the gunman entered the Discovery building around 1 p.m. Wednesday, bringing one of Washington’s largest and busiest suburbs to a standstill for hours.
He walked through the front door with two backpacks and two boxes believed to contain explosives, the police said, displaying the handgun and telling people to stay still. The police responded after reports of gunshots.
An NBC News producer called the headquarters and was connected to a man who identified himself as James J. Lee, an NBC spokeswoman said. NBC later released the transcript. “I have a gun, and I have a bomb,” the man said on the telephone call. “I have several bombs strapped to my body ready to go off.”
Mr. Leavy said Discovery Communications had been aware of Mr. Lee from his arrest and from recent postings of demands on his Web site.
Sometime in August, the Web site called for Discovery to show programs about how to save the planet by decreasing the human population. Specifically, it said that the TLC and Discovery Health channels should discontinue shows about “the birth of any more parasitic human infants,” and “in those programs’ places, programs encouraging human sterilization and infertility must be pushed.”
Chief Manger said that most of the gunman’s demands during the hostage standoff “mirrored what he has on his Web site.”
Bernie Becker contributed reporting from Silver Spring, Md. Unk Dicko's Comment:
Unk Dicko's Comment:
I have read various reports about this latest hostage incident. The gunman was extremely
dangerous. As long as there are innocent people involved as hostages, law enforcement agencies
are DUTY BOUND to PUT THE LIFE AND SAFETY OF THOSE HOSTAGES ABOVE ANYTHING ELSE.
And that was clearly in evidence here.
The Montgomery County Police Chief and his SWAT team must be highly commended for
doing what they are supposed to do....ACTING DECISIVELY. Hats off to them !
I am certain that they must have been aware of the recent Manila Fiasco by the govt and police.
The scene in this latest incident was similar in one respect....just ONE lone gunman with
explosives taped to his body.
So, what do you do if you're i/c of ending this without hopefully any innocent dying?
Wait and wait and doodle and dawdle like those manila cowboys did... 10 hours?
Wait and wait until he started his wanton killing?
The answer is a BIG BIG NO.
NO, you don't wait until he has killed the 3 hostages or more.
Your SWAT team or as that brave Canton policewoman showed, can take him down in the
blink of an eye.
Unk Dicko has been reflecting a little more deeply on the Manila incident, trying to fathom WHY no one among the 200 odd policemen surrounding the hostage bus DARED to just step forward
and shoot Rolando their ex-police colleague.
It was as simple as that. Anywhere else in most countries, it would have ended on the steps of that bus...but not in Manila. So WHY indeed? Mystery? No!
Looking back at how the P'ppines operate, their corrupt police and army and quasi-govt agencies,
I suspect there is a genuine real FEAR that whichever police officer 'brave' or 'FOOLISH' enough to shoot Rolando dead will know his very OWN LIFE becomes worthless after that.
Notice no mention is made of who actually shot him. No name, no face, nothing!
That is the kind of culture in a land where 'anything' goes.
Revenge killing is quite common over there.