“There Is a Man With a Gun at One Discovery Place”

Witness accounts of the Discovery hostage situation

In the moments after an armed man entered the Discovery Communications building Wednesday, 911 callers from inside the building and out frantically described a gunman with what looked like a bomb strapped to his body.

Montgomery County police released recordings of radio transmissions and 911 tapes Friday, two days after a man held three people hostage for hours at Discovery Communications' headquarters in Silver Spring. Police said 43-year-old James Lee was shot dead by officers and four more devices were later found at a home nearby.

In the first call, a man who said he was an operations manager for Discovery said he was behind the main lobby where the suspect was -- "in a secure space."

In one call, a security employee calmly said he believed it was Lee, based on a photo of Lee in the security office, and he had at least one person on the ground. He said the man had tanks of propane strapped to him and a blinking device in his left hand and had been trying to pick up the phone.

Across the street, the employees at Webs.com had a unique view of the standoff. They could see employees walking around the building to the stairwell through which they evacuated, News4's Tracee Wilkins reported. They watched police vehicles assemble on the street.

Naturally, they took pictures, including pictures of the hostages face down on the ground outside the building.

After Lee was shot and killed, one employee, with her camera, followed a police robot's approach until she could make out Lee's silhouette.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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