Wednesday, 01 September 2010

Gunman Takes Hostage at Discovery Channel Headquarters

Written by 

Discovery Channel HQUPDATE: Three hostages have been rescued from the headquarters of the Discovery Channel and the man who was holding them has been shot by police.

The suspect, James Lee, was taken into custody after being shot, according to Montgomery County Police Chief J. Thomas Manger. The device he was carrying, thought to be an explosive, appeared to go off. "We haven't confirmed that as of this time," Manger said according to CNN. "We saw some smoke, may have heard a pop." There is no word on the man's present condition.

According to ABC News, Lee is "a radical environmentalist" and is linked to a "rambling manifesto" that "rails agains 'disgusting human babies'" and says people should "disassemble civilization."

In 2008, Lee planned to hold a protest against the Discovery Channel. According to Aaron Morrissey, editor of the blog DCist, the protest "was not that well attended." A month later, CNN reported, "Lee was arrested near the building on littering and disorderly conduct charges." He served a supervised probation that ended on August 18.

--- Previous Coverage ---

According to police in a suburb of Washington, D.C., a gunman has entered the headquarters of the Discovery Channel and taken at least one person hostage.

According to the Associated Press, "Montgomery County fire department spokesman Capt. Oscar Garcia said three bomb technicians responded to the scene in Silver Spring, Md., and several more are on their way." 

Also, Montgomery County Police Spokesman Dan Friz told local news station WJLA-TV that police were dispatched after a report of shots fired at approximately 1 p.m. According to Friz, the suspect, identified as an Asian male, has "some sort of device on him that may be explosive in nature."

Witnesses said that the man fired at least one shot, then said: "Nobody is going anywhere."

The Washington Post reported that some employees have been evacuated. Others were "told to go to the highest floor in the building. An e-mail to Discovery employees had a subject line that read: 'URGENT: Employees at One Discovery Place Proceed to a Locked Office IMMEDIATELY.'"

In its coverage, the Post pointed to a "manifesto" posted on the Internet on July 18 demanding that the Discovery Channel immediately begin broadcasting information about "saving the planet."

Among the demands, published on the site savetheplanetprotest.com, the Discovery Channel was urged to "stop encouraging the birth of any more parasitic human infants and the false heroics behind those actions. In those programs' places, programs encouraging human sterilization and infertility must be pushed. All former pro-birth programs must now push in the direction of stopping human birth, not encouraging it."

Savetheplanetprotest.com was not available, returning only a network error message, at the time The New American attempted to access it. The Post pointed out, however, that  "There is no confirmation from authorities that the website has anything to do with the current situation at Discovery."

...