The hostage standoff in the Discovery Communications building is now over. Many of the 1,900 employees in the building have safely evacuated the building. The higher floors of the building are now being searched to ensure that other employees are not still on the premises. The incident in Silver Spring, Maryland lasted for about four hours.
James J. Lee: Dead
James J. Lee, the alleged suspect in this incident, has been shot to death by the police. He was holding three hostages. During the shooting, one of the possible explosive devices James Lee had on him may have detonated, notes the Washington Post. Police have now confirmed that Lee did have explosive devices with him when he entered the Discovery building.
Hostages Were In Danger but Safe Now
After communicating with Lee for hours, police made the decision to open fire on him because they “believed the hostages’ lives were in danger,” reports the Washington Post. The police did observe that James Lee had out a handgun and aimed it at a hostage, notes the New York Times.
There were earlier reports that shots were fired in the Discovery building. The police have not verified that any shots were fired and have not seen any injuries among the employees.
James J. Lee: Conflicts with the Discovery Channel
James Lee allegedly had a website online that aired his conflicts with the Discovery Channel. The Washington Post reports that he wrote about how the Discovery Channel must “broadcast to the world their commitment to save the planet” and should “stop encouraging the birth of any more parasitic human infants …,” notes the Washington Post.
James Lee had a history of protesting the Discovery Channel by spending time picketing outside the building in Silver Spring. He had a prior arrest for the protests at the building.
How Did James J. Lee Access the DiscoveryBuilding?
Thus it is very surprising that James Lee was able to access the Discovery building. It seems difficult to understand how someone who had caused trouble at the building previously was not spotted upon trying to enter the building. Also why didn’t security notice that someone was entering the building wearing explosives?
The Discovery Channel company surely typically must have high security. Since 9/11 most major companies have instituted strong measures to keep buildings secure. What happened today? Was there some lapse in security at the Discovery building?
How Could Television Shows Spark Such Anger?
Television is a hotly contested topic in our society. Some people think television is entertaining and educational and others think television is trashy and a negative influence on life. But it is hard to comprehend how James J. Lee could allegedly storm a building and take hostages over the shows on the Discovery Channel. Is television a benign influence in society or do people react too strongly to its content?
Best wishes to the employees of the Discovery Channel who were in the building today. The hostages and all other people in the building too went through a deeply upsetting experience. It is sad indeed that people are work are too often caught up in unexpected incidents that are potentially violent.