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Hostage 911 at Discovery Channel:

Man with Gun

9/1/2010 3:04 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF

A man wielding a gun and possibly carrying an explosive device is holed up at the Discovery Channel headquarters in Silver Spring, MD -- and now he's been identified by the network as radical environmentalist -- James Jay Lee -- who has had a grudge against Discovery for years.

Discovery Channel Hostage
Lee recently published a manifesto listing his demands to the Discovery Channel ... including the immediate stop to "encouraging the birth of any more parasitic human infants."  Lee also lashes out about Discovery Channel programs promoting war and technology.

Law enforcement tells TMZ ... Lee was arrested during a protest in 2008 for disorderly conduct outside the Discovery Channel headquarters.

After the gunman entered the building earlier today ... an employee told a local TV station, "We heard, pop, pop, pop, pop pop."

A day care center in the building -- with 100 kids -- has been evacuated.

The SWAT team is on scene. The drama has been unfolding since around 1 PM ET.

UPDATE: Lee is reportedly demanding to speak with Discovery Channel executives.

Law enforcement officials confirm that Lee is still holding a "small number" of hostages. Officers have not confirmed the exact number of people being held.

Cops also say ... they believe Lee has a number of metallic containers strapped to himself that could be explosive devices.

UPDATE 12:30 PM PST: A source on the scene tells TMZ the SWAT team has just entered the building.

UPDATE 12:55 PM PST: The local police chief is set to address the media in the next few minutes.

UPDATE 1:03 PM PST: Cops say they have not confirmed any injuries so far.

Story developing...

Discovery Channel Hostage

155 COMMENTS

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16.

horrified    

FLO and Rockchick - you are disgusting for making (and condoning) jokes about this situation. Let's just hope the hostage--and others--are safe. Let's not forget that's someone's family.

1513 days ago
17.

lalaala    

Quick, send in Bear Grylls!

1513 days ago
18.

sarah palin bite me    

sounds like SARAH PALIN KILLING MACHINE MONSTER is in the Discovery Building looking for innocent baby animals to slaughter......STOP HER!!!!!!

1513 days ago
19.

Janine    

Thank you TMZ! Sometimes I forget there is other news than celebrity gossip. I appreciate that you put this up.

1513 days ago
20.

Test    

Too bad Maryland is not a shall-issue state for firearms otherwise someone may have been able to intervene before the situation escalated to this point.

1513 days ago
21.

YouKnowIt    

Sounds like a job for Hancock.
Han**** I need you to end this Now.

1513 days ago
22.

aaron    

He demands more Shark Week!

1513 days ago
23.

fasha    

Too bad Maryland is not a shall-issue state for firearms otherwise someone may have been able to intervene before the situation escalated to this point.

1513 days ago
24.

john travolta    

kill the mother ****er , no hostages.

1513 days ago
25.

Thomas    

This is a terrifying ordeal I hope that this won't come to a bloody end. Non-lethal methods of take down ftw.

1513 days ago
26.

Wendy    

Just announced on local TV that employees have been told to go home if they were out, and any employee that can leave was told to go. But can't access cars in underground garage.

Sad this is going on.

1513 days ago
27.

Test    

Too bad Maryland is not a shall-issue state for firearms otherwise someone may have been able to intervene before the situation escalated to this point.

1513 days ago
28.

MJFAN    

why are people becoming crazier and crazier....what has this world come to....

1513 days ago
29.

Irene    

This is terrible!

1513 days ago
30.

MJFAN    

i really hope nobody gets killed...i cant imagine what these people are going through....my prayers go out to them

1513 days ago
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