Radical Green

Discovery Gunman's Environmentalism

The suspected hostage-taker at the Discovery Communications building in Silver Spring, Maryland, was shot and killed by authorities after a four-hour standoff. Police aimed and shot when the gunman, James J. Lee, pointed his handgun at one of the three hostages. Lee, a radical environmentalist, had a long history of conflict with the Discovery Channel, and a manifesto he posted to a website proclaimed that "Humans are the most destructive, filthy, pollutive creatures around and are wrecking what's left of the planet with their false morals and breeding culture." Lee was arrested in 2008 for creating a disturbance outside Discovery and evaluated by state psychiatrists at the time, though they "couldn't find anything wrong with me," Lee said at the time. Lee walked into the Discovery Communications building around 1 p.m. waving a handgun, wearing what appeared to metallic canisters on his chest and back, and was carrying two boxes and two backpacks that police said could have contained explosives. The three hostages escaped unharmed.