Just two weeks had passed since James Jay Lee’s probation from a 2008 incident ended when he stormed Discovery Channel headquarters in Silver Spring, Md. For nearly four hours Sept. 1, Lee held three men hostage on the first floor of the building before being shot and killed by Montgomery County, Md. Police.
At about 1 p.m., Lee walked into the Discovery building with what Montgomery County Police Chief Tom Manger described as metallic canister devices on both his front and back. The suspect then brandished a firearm and demanded that everyone remain still.
The security staff at Discovery along with police officials worked to get most of the 1,900 employees of the building to safety in addition to children who attended the daycare located in the building.
Numerous streets around the building were closed off as police officials began hostage negotiations with Lee. As negotiations began to deteriorate, Lee became more agitated and police moved in to shoot and kill him.
When Lee was killed, Manger said officers saw a small explosion from the device Lee was carrying. Once police fully cleared the building, the Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Squad began its search for any other explosive devices Lee may have hid.
Gov. Martin O’Malley praised the efforts of the Montgomery County Police and Discovery for managing the crisis in such an effective way.
“I want to commend Montgomery County Police Chief J. Thomas Manger and the members of the Montgomery County Police for their valiant efforts to diffuse the hostage situation at Discovery Channel headquarters in Silver Spring yesterday,” O’Malley said in a statement. “Chief Manger and his team’s professionalism kept civilians safe and unharmed. Law enforcement officers put their lives at risk everyday and the bravery of these men and women should not be overlooked.
“I also want to commend Discovery CEO David Zaslov and the employees of Discovery for executing their crisis plan flawlessly, and for remaining calm during this crisis,” he continued.
Lee’s motive for the incident appears to be his disdain for the human race and his belief that humans are the cause of many of the world’s environmental problems. He thought the Discovery Channel’s programming endorsed human reproduction and wanted to replace it with programming that promoted human infertility.
“Saving the Planet means saving what’s left of the non-human Wildlife by decreasing the Human population,” Lee said on his Web Page, savetheplanetprotest.com. “That means stopping the human race from breeding any more disgusting human babies! You’re the media, you can reach enough people. It’s your responsibility because you reach so many minds!”
In February of 2008, Lee was arrested for disorderly conduct after throwing money in front of the Discovery building and creating a public disturbance.