At about 1 p.m. today the police in Silver Spring, Maryland got a telephone call about shots that were fired in the Discovery Channel building. Police have not yet confirmed that the shots did actually occur. One hostage, believed to be a security guard in the building, was also taken by the alleged suspect, James Jay Lee.
James Jay Lee: Alleged Suspect at Discovery Building
James Jay Lee is from California. He had previously been disruptive in front of the Discovery building when he threw piles of money in the air, notes the Washington Post. A judge forbid him from going near the Discovery building.
However, a man who left the building stated that two hostages were taken, reports CNN. The alleged suspect, James Jay Lee, is said to have stated “Nobody is going anywhere” when he entered the Discovery building, notes CNN and WJLA.
The police say the alleged suspect is an Asian man. He was believed to be wearing an explosive device during the hostage taking incident. Authorities report that they are communicating with the suspect, notes the Washington Post.
A SWAT team, the bomb squad, and the FBI and ATF are on the scene to investigate this incident. There are police surrounding the building with their weapons drawn.
Day Care Center Evacuated
The children who were in the day care center at the Discovery building are now safe. There were about 100 kids in the day care center. They have been removed from the building and moved to a nearby McDonalds. Parents should contact the police to find out how to retrieve their children from this location.
Evacuation Near the Discovery Building
The areas near the Discovery building have been evacuated. Traffic is getting congested due to road blockages near the Discovery building.
Are Employees Evacuating?
There are conflicting reports about whether the Discovery building has been evacuated. Police officials have said that the building is being evacuated. However, some employees in the building are releasing the information via phone, e-mail and Twitter that they have been told to stay at work and seek cover in a safe place.
The Discovery company sent an e-mail to employees notifying them that there is “reason to believe that there is an armed gunman at One Discovery Place,” notes CNN.
No Police Shots Fired
It is believed that the police have not had to fire any shots to subdue the suspect. He is still in the building being observed by the police. The suspect’s motive is not fully known, but is linked somehow to the Discovery building.
Television Show Issue?
Could this incident be sparked by some kind of problem with a Discovery Channel TV show? In today’s world even TV shows can spark hatred and violence.
Workplace violence is a serious and troubling issue in America. It is becoming far too common to see places of business under siege by someone with a gun. Gun crime is out of control in America. Will that ever change? Our murder rates by gun are much higher than rates in European countries.
Let’s hope the employees of the Discovery building are all safe. This incident must be very upsetting to everyone there. It shows yet again that no place is totally safe.
It is surprising though that someone with a gun and wearing explosives managed to make it into the building lobby. In this post- 9/11 era, most buildings have security watching and posted near the entrances to ensure that only those people with valid identification are let into the building. Perhaps the Discovery building needs to implement much more stringent security.