Shooting, Hostages Reported at Discovery Channel Offices
As of this writing, NBC Washington reports, via Twitter, law enforcement has confirmed the name of the armed suspect they say walked into the Discovery Channel offices in downtown Silver Spring, Maryland. The believe the man holding hostages in the building is James Jay Lee. Children in a daycare facility within the building have been evacuated.
According to updated reports by NPR, at 1:00 p.m. local time, a man entered the Discovery Channel offices and a 911 call came into police reporting shots fired. Reports from both NPR and the Washington Post say that the children from the on-site daycare have been evacuated to a nearby site. The Washington Post adds that a school, St. Michael the Archangel, less than two blocks away, is in lockdown mode with the doors locked and shades drawn. An email to parents said all students were accounted for.
While NPR declines to name the suspect, NBC Washington and the Post state that it is indeed James Jay Lee. Mr. Lee was reported by the Post to be the same man who was arrested after throwing thousands of dollars into the air at a rally outside of Discovery Communications last month. He was given 6 months of probation and fined $500 by Judge Stephen P. Johnson.
The Post quoted a Discovery Channel employee, Brian Slone, 28, who was at his desk when a co-worker called from outside the building to let him know of the situation. A short time later an emergency alert came over the intercom. Stone said the updates came quickly and employees responded calmly.
"You don't expect something like this to happen in a creative company, in a family culture like we have here," he told the Post. "but I guess it can."
The most updated reports from CNN say there are several hostages and negotiations are in progress, with most of the employees now out of the Discovery Channel offices building. Officials say when the suspect entered the building was "wearing what appeared to be metallic canister devices on his front and back."