David Shepherd: News Blog

Journalist's Notebook

BREAKING: Gunman is Dead, According to Police



 Just before 5:30 PM, a police source told NBC News that the Discovery Channel gunman, James Lee, 42, is dead.  Just before 5:00 PM,

Photo: NBC News

 Montogmery County, MD police say they shot Lee.  Police say a “device went off” and there was fire and smoke.  Other witnesses say they heard a loud pop.

Police also said it’s possible there are other explosives through-out the building. 

WJLA is reporting the man was shot when he came outside for an unknown reason. 

It all started just after 1:00 Wednesday afternoon when James Lee allegedly entered the Discovery Channel building in downtown Silver Spring, fired at least one shot, and took 3 hostages.

Now, more than 4 hours later, the incident appears to be over.  But because police believe more explosives are inside the building, they are going to be sweeping the building and rendering those devices safe.

Earlier Reports:

At 3:15 PM, Montgomery County police chief  Tom Manger, told the media this is an “on-going hostage situation” with multiple hostages. 

Manger said he is under the impression that there are explosives inside but could not confirm how many people were taken hostage.

Earlier, news media speculated there was only one hostage.  But now, it appears, there are a number of hostages.

The Discovery Channel building in Montgomery County, Maryland is home to a number of TV stations and employees close to 2-thousand people.  Earlier this afternoon, sources say a man, they believe to be James Jay Lee, entered the building, fired an undisclosed number of shots, and took a small number of hostages.

Sources say Lee has history of protesting outside building and runs an on-line website that rants against the Discovery Channel.

Previous Post as the details unfolded this afternoon:


At 2:37 PM, NBC News Alert:  Alleged Discovery Channel HQ gunman ID’d as James Jay Lee; has history of protesting outside building

At 2:24 PM , a reporter with WJLA reported he just witnessed medics entering the Discovery Channel building with a stretcher.  Police appear to be moving toward the building.

UPDATE: 2:02 p.m.: The Discovery Channel day care has been evacuated to the nearby McDonald’s. The day care had about 100 kids. They are reported to be safe.

UPDATE: 1:50 p.m.: According to Cpl. Dan Friz, a Montgomery County police spokesman, a tactical team is trying to get in touch with the gunman, who is being monitored on closed circuit TV. The “tactical team has put together a plan for dealing with this individual,” Friz told ABC 7 News.

 Friz was unable to confirm reports that multiple shots have been fired, but he said no shots had been fired by police as of 1:40 p.m.

 Police were initially dispatched to the building for the report of shots fired at about 1 p.m. Police are reporting the suspect is an Asian male.

 “Some sort of device on him that may be explosive in nature…” Friz said.


Montgomery County police have confirmed the Discovery Communications headquarters on Georgia Avenue in downtown Silver Spring

PHOTO: WJLA - TV Washington DC

 has been evacuated after the report of a man possibly with explosives inside the building.

 A man entered the lobby and may have fired a weapon and declared, “Nobody is going anywhere,” Montgomery County police said.

In a phone interview on ABC 7 News and TBD TV, Discovery Communication employee Lisa Lucas said the building is in lockdown, with an unknown number of employees sheltering in offices. Police have established a cordon around the building.

 She said that about 1:20 p.m., “we heard, Pop, pop, pop, pop, pop.” 

Police have not confirmed that multiple shots were fired.

WJLA reports an Asian male is holding at least one hostage in the lobby of the Discovery Channel headquarters in Montgomery County, Maryland, just outside of Washington, D.C. 

It’s also reported the man has explosives.Story from CNN and confirmed by several other news agencies.  More details to follow

> > >From CNN.com – A police emergency response team was responding to reports of a man with a gun and possible explosives at the headquarters of the Discovery Channel in Silver Spring, Maryland, a police spokeswoman said.

Photo: WTTG Fox 5 Washington, D.C.

Montgomery County police received the call at about 1 p.m., said Angela Cruz. The call came from One Discovery Place, the channel’s headquarters.

The area has been evacuated, Cruz said. No further information was immediately available.

September 1, 2010 - Posted by | News & Current Events

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