James Lee
Photo: AP/Wide World Photos
On September 1, 2010, at about 1 p.m., a man entered the lobby of the Discovery Communications headquarters in Silver Spring, Maryland. He was wielding a gun and wore a yellow backpack filled with explosive devices. He took three hostages—two Discovery employees and a security guard.

Within minutes, police and FBI SWAT teams surrounded the building. The rest of the 1,900 people in the building—including everyone in the daycare facility located near the lobby—were told over a loudspeaker to lock their doors or evacuate the building.

Police learned the gunman was James J. Lee, who two years earlier had been arrested for disorderly conduct for protesting at the Discovery building. In online rants, Lee revealed he was angry with the network, saying some of its shows promote population growth and endanger the planet.

As the hostage situation stretched on, millions of viewers around the world watched and prayed. After nearly four hours, the three hostages made a run for it, and the SWAT team moved in to shoot and kill Lee.
FROM: First Television Interview: Discovery Headquarters Hostages Come Forward
Published on September 16, 2010

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