3 Sep 2010

Hostage drama ends at Discovery building

5:59 am on 3 September 2010

Police in the United States have shot and killed a gunman to end a hostage situation at the headquarters of the Discovery television channel.

James Lee went into the building in Silver Spring near Washington DC during the lunch hour on Wednesday and held three people at gunpoint for several hours.

Mr Lee's website indicates he is an environmental protester who encourages human sterilisation.

Known for protesting outside the Discovery building, this time he had metallic canisters strapped to his chest and a handgun when he entered the building.

Police say they opened fire because they thought he was about to detonate his explosives following several hours of talks.

The BBC reports a shot rang out just before 5pm local time on Wednesday, bringing to an end the siege. All three hostages escaped unharmed.

Police say the explosive device strapped to the gunamn's body appeared to go off when he was shot.

The man had walked into Discovery's reception four hours earlier with cannisters attached to his chest and back and waving a gun.

Investigators are now looking into reports that the gunman was known to police as someone with a grudge against the Discovery Channel.

Discovery Communications operates in 180 countries through networks the Discovery Channel and Animal Planet.