A man possibly strapped with explosives has taken over the Discovery Communications building in Silver Springs, MD and has taken a small number of hostages.
No injuries have been reported thus far. People on the eighth and ninth floors have been safely evacuated, and surrounding streets have been closed.
In all of this chaos, police say they think the suspect is James Jay Lee, 43 of Silver Springs, MD according to his MySpace page. On the same page is a link to his demands for the Discovery channel, many of which pertain to his seemingly incessant need to “save the planet” – something he thinks Discovery networks are failing at.
Lee was sentenced to six months of supervised probation in March 2008 for disorderly conduct. According to his profile, he organized a major protest against Discovery in February 2008 in accordance with his list of demands. One of his demands says:
“The Discovery Channel and it’s affiliate channels MUST have daily television programs at prime time slots based on Daniel Quinn’s “My Ishmael” pages 207-212 where solutions to save the planet would be done in the same way as the Industrial Revolution was done, by people building on each other’s inventive ideas.”
This demand gives more credence to the notion of Lee being behind the hostage takeover:
“Saving the Planet means saving what’s left of the non-human Wildlife by decreasing the Human population. 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 resposibility (sic) because you reach so many minds!!! … The planet doesn’t need humans.”
The demands weren’t necessarily made in accordance with today’s events – according to the Wayback machine, which has archived web pages over the years, the page was last updated in July 2008.
Note that everyone in this country is innocent until proven guilty, so for now we can only speculate. However, one man who saw his 2008 protest told msnbc.com “As soon as I heard the news Wednesday, I knew it’s got to be Lee.”
A woman who works at the building told msnbc.com that the building has security cameras throughout the building, as well as a receptionist and a security guard at the front gate. She also said she hasn’t heard any shots fired – something police won’t confirm or deny.
If this man is Lee, then this reporter feels some trepidation as it pertains to loss of life in this situation. The man doesn’t care about humans in any way, shape or form and thinks they’re killing this earth – what’s stopping him from getting rid of the few he’s holding? I must ask though:
Isn’t this man a human himself?
Editor’s note: The suspect has been shot and killed by authorities. Three hostages have been freed, unharmed. The suspect was indeed James Lee.