Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Discovery Channel gunman shot

LATEST: Police have shot a man upset with the Discovery Channel network's programming who took three people hostage at the company's Washington DC headquarters, officials said. All three hostages escaped safely.

NBC reported the man had died in the shooting, quoting law enforcement sources, but Montgomery County Police Chief Thomas Manger said he did not know whether police killed the gunman.

Police spent several hours negotiating with him after he burst into the suburban building about 1pm (5am NZT) waving a handgun and with canisters strapped to his body.

Manger said an explosive device may have detonated, and the suspect may have brought other devices into the building. He said as far as he knows, the 1900 people who work in the building were able to get out safely.

A law enforcement official speaking on condition of anonymity because the investigation was ongoing said authorities had identified James J. Lee as the likely suspect.

A different official, who spoke on condition of anonymity for the same reason, said Lee previously protested outside the building, where he was arrested and charged with disorderly conduct in February 2008, according to court records.

Police reports indicate he paid homeless people to join his protest and carry signs outside the building. He gave one individual US$1000 for what he considered a prize winning essay.

At one point, a crowd of more than 100 people gathered around Lee, 43, who referred to money as "just trash" and began throwing fistfuls of it into the air.


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