Hostage Situation at Discovery HQ in Silver Spring, MD

UPDATE: The suspect, James Jay Lee was shot by officers at around 4:50 pm. The Montgomery County Police Chief Tom Manger has confirmed that Lee is dead. The three hostages made it out of the building safely.

Breaking news coming out of the Discovery Communications offices in Silver Spring, MD. According to reports, police say a man has entered the building with what appeared to be an explosive device. Multiple reports have confirmed that the suspect is James Jay Lee.

According to multiple witnesses, shots have been fired.
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“We heard a street vendor yelling, there’s a guy with a gun, there’s a guy with a gun,” said systems engineer at Discovery Faisal Afzal told WTOP right before he was about to enter the building before running from the apparent hostage situation. “He’s in the building. And I saw people lying down on the floor at the building. And we just ran away from the building and we heard a couple shots fired.”

The police evacuated most of the building, but some people might remain inside, according to CNN. Montgomery County Police Chief Tom Manger confirms that there are a “small number” of hostages in the building. Manger also said the police are working on the assumption that the suspect has explosives.

The assailant is unknown at this point, but witnesses claim it’s an Asian male. Both WTOP and the Washington Post are covering the latest news.

Update 1: CBS affiliate WUSA 9 in Washington, D.C. have linked to the gunman’s demands he posted online.

Update 2: CNN reports that police say that the gunman’s “beef is with Discovery.”

Update 3: WTTG Fox 5 reports that one of the hostages is a security guard at the building.


Update 4: TBD has obtained the email that Discovery sent to its employees.

Update 5: NBC Washington confirms that the suspect’s name is James Jay Lee.

Update 6: Suspect was arrested in 2008 in front of the Discovery Channel HQ for disorderly conduct during a protest.

Update 7: TBD reports that the last known residence for James Lee was a homeless shelter in Silver Spring.

Photo by DCist.com