Originally reported by CableFAX: As many in the industry made their way back from lunch around 1pm ET Wed, they heard the news that a gunman was inside Discovery’s Silver Spring, MD, headquarters and had possible hostages. Just before 5 pm, police said the suspect had been shot and that all three hostages (two employees and one security staffer) were out and safe. It was later reported that the suspect was dead.
Thanking authorities for their actions, Discovery EVP David Leavy said at a news conference that Discovery security handled the situation “really brilliantly” and said the company’s evacuation plan was “executed flawlessly.” The company’s 1900 employees were evacuated, with Leavy saying that less than 10 employees on upper floors stayed in the building for a period to help police.
The suspect is believed to be James Jay Lee, who was arrested for disorderly conduct in 2008 following a protest outside Discovery. A manifesto at SavethePlanetProtest.com was found on the Web and attached to Lee. It demanded that Discovery “broadcast to the world their commitment to save the planet.”
Tweets, IMs and emails flew Wednesday, with it quickly becoming clear that most of Discovery’s employees were evacuated from the building by about 2 pm, with some reporting they were at restaurants or headed to commuter trains (many were unable to get to cars parked in garages because of the lockdown).