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Rediff.com  » News » Discovery channel HQ siege ends, gunman dead

Discovery channel HQ siege ends, gunman dead

Last updated on: September 2, 2010 08:42 IST

Discovery channel HQ siege ends

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Police shot dead a gunman to safely free three persons ending hours of standoff after he had taken them as hostages at the Discovery Channel headquarters in the suburb of Silver Spring, US.

The gunman has been identified as James Lee who was against the programmes shown by the channel, police said, adding he had explosive devices in his backpack.

The hostages were rescued unhurt during the standoff.

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Image: The Discovery Communications headquarters building
Photographs: Jim Bourg/Reuters
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It all began around 1 pm, when Lee entered the building and appeared to have bomb strapped to his chest, they said.

The gunman took them hostage and asked others not to leave the building.


Image: A frame grab from MySpace.com page of James J Lee, the gunman killed by police following the hostage episode at the Discovery Channel headquarter in Silver Spring

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Police immediately cordoned off the area and evacuated the building. Around 100 children in the daycare centre of the building were safely moved to a nearby location.

Meanwhile, police started negotiations with Lee, who demanded that the Discovery Channel "must broadcast to the world their commitment to save the planet".


Image: An armored police vehicle drives through the area near the Discovery Channel headquarters building
Photographs: Molly Riley/Reuters
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Montgomery County Police chief J Thomas Manger told media persons after the standoff that police officers were able to get into very close position during the negotiations.

Lee was said to have a device on his body and was holding another device, both with blinking lights.


Image: Armed police surround the area near the Discovery Channel headquarters building
Photographs: Molly Riley/Reuters
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"They were close enough to hear what he was saying and what he was doing on camera.

At one point the suspect pulled out a handgun and pointed it at one of the hostages. At that point, our tactical units moved in, they shot the suspect. The suspect is deceased," Manger said.

He described Lee as displaying a "wide range of emotions" during the several hours of negotiations.


Image: Montgomery County police vehicles keep a roadblock near the Discovery Channel headquarters
Photographs: Molly Riley/Reuters
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