September 2, 2010

Crazed gunman attacks Discovery Channel

ENTERTAINMENT - A gunman who took two Discovery Channel network employees and a security guard hostage at the company's HQ in Washington has been shot dead by police yesterday. All three hostages escaped unharmed.

The man burst into Discovery Channel headquarters building yesterday around 1 PM, waving a handgun and carrying canisters of explosives strapped to his body. Police spent several hours trying to negotiate with the man. When they shot him one of the explosives strapped to his body exploded and may have played a role in his death.

He also carried in two boxes and two backpacks which police were concerned may contain large amounts of explosives. 1,900 people were evacuated from the building to safety.

The gunman, identified anonymously as 43-year-old James J. Lee, was being monitored on CCTV when tactical officers saw him point his handgun at one of the hostages and they decided to move in before he could shoot any of the hostages.

Lee had previously tried protesting outside of the building and was arrested/charged with disorderly conduct in February 2008. He even paid homeless people to join his protest and carry placards. In one incident Lee began throwing fistfuls of money in the air, attracting a crowd of a hundred people.

He was convicted of disorderly conduct, served two weeks in jail and was ordered to stay 150 metres away from Discovery headquarters.

Lee had been laid off from his job in San Diego. According to a website he had registered Lee was angry about the Discovery Channel and what he perceived to be the promotion of overpopulation. Lee said Discovery Channel and its affiliates should stop "encouraging the birth of any more parasitic human infants.” and should promote “programs encouraging human sterilization and infertility.”

"NO MORE BABIES! Population growth is a real crisis," he wrote.

Discovery Communications Inc. owns and operates The Discovery Channel, TLC and Animal Planet. Their shows include Cash Cab, Man vs. Wild, American Chopper, Kate Plus Eight, Whale Wars and The Haunted.

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