Police respond to hostage situation at downtown Silver Spring building

Posted: September 1, 2010 by The STR in NEWS & LOCAL NEWS
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2008 06 11 - 3240-3241 - Silver Spring - US29 ...

Image by thisisbossi via Flickr

A man with an explosive device entered the Discovery Communications building in downtown Silver Spring Wednesday afternoon and has taken a security guard hostage, Montgomery County Police said.

Some employees were evacuated. Others told to go to the highest floor in the building. An email to Discovery employees had a subject line that read: “URGENT: Employees at One Discovery Place Proceed to a Locked Office IMMEDIATELY.”

Tactical and bomb squad officers are on the scene and are developing a plan to deal with the situation, said Montgomery County Police spokesman Cpl. Dan Fritz.

Friz said the suspect was an Asian male who has some issues with the Discovery Corporation. He did not elaborate.

“We’re working on getting everyone out of there,” he said on WUSA.

He said authorities “have an eye on the individual” and are keeping him under closer observation. But Fritz said they have not yet made contact with him.

Several businesses near the building also have been evacuated or are on lockdown.

In an interview, one employee who was evacuated said that they were told a gunman came into lobby, and grabbed a security guard as a hostage.

As police descended on Silver Spring, the downtown came to a halt as police cordoned off streets. The Discovery building, located in the heart of the downtown at the intersection of Colesville Road and Georgia Avenue, was at the heart of the city’s revitalization and employees hundreds.

A note posted on the Internet on July 18 issues a list of demands to the Discovery Channel, saying the station “MUST broadcast to the world their commitment to save the planet.” It lists 11 demands about airing shows that would promote curbing the plant’s population growth, finding solutions for global warming and dismantling “the dangerous US world economy.”

“All programs on Discovery Health-TLC must stop encouraging the birth of any more parasitic human infants and the false heroics behind those actions,” it reads. “In those programs’ places, programs encouraging human sterilization and infertility must be pushed. All former pro-birth programs must now push in the direction of stopping human birth, not encouraging it.”

The manifesto was published on savetheplanetprotest.com on July 18. It is registered to James Lee who gave a post officce box in Canada as his address. There is no confirmation from authorities that the Web site has anything to do with the current situation at Discovery.


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