A man claiming to have explosives has taken hostages at the headquarters of Discovery Communications in Silver Spring, MD, just outside Washington, DC. Gannett’s WUSA-TV reports that officials believe the suspect is James Lee, who has protested environmental programming on the Discoveery Channel in the past. Based on his posting of an Internet manifesto and his past actions, WUSA reported that Lee believed that Discovery was not doing enough to promote environmental conservation and protection of animal species.
UPDATE from 3:20 pm ET news conference by Montgomery County Police Chief Tom Manger:
Authorities are negotiating with the suspect. The chief refused to identify him. The man has canisters strapped to his body, which police are assuming are explosives. He also waved a handgun. The chief said he could not confirm that any shot(s) had been fired. The man is holding a “small number” of hostages on the first floor. All children in the first floor daycare center got out safely. Most of the 1,900 or so employees in the building have exited, although some may remain on the upper floors. The chief could not confirm or deny that anyone had been injured.
UPDATE from 4:55 pm news conference. Suspect shot. Click here for the update.