NEWS

After Hostage Standoff, Discovery to Boost Physical Security at HQ

By Joseph Straw

Discovery Communications plans to heighten physical security at its Silver Spring, Maryland, headquarters after last year’s hostage standoff that ended in the death of the perpetrator, The Washington Examiner reports:

Discovery wants to install an 8-foot-tall, gated fence in its public garden and divide its lobby, with separate entrances for employees and visitors, according to company officials and documents submitted to the Montgomery County Planning Board.

James Lee, 43, was a familiar face to employees of the cable network company, based just outside Washington, D.C. They regularly saw him alone outside the building, protest sign in hand, demonstrating to get Discovery Channel to increase programming about environmental issues such as global warming and overpopulation.

 

Around 1 p.m. on Sept. 1, Lee entered the building’s lobby with packages carried on a dolly. He donned a backpack containing propane canisters, pipe bombs, and gun shells, and brandished a firearm and a second object that police thought might be a “dead man switch,” a device that can activate an bomb when pressure is released—such as if the individual holding it is shot by police, according to a report by The Washington Post. He took a security guard and two other company employees hostage in the lobby.

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