Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Discovery Communications HQ Hostage Crisis

For two hours while at work in DC I kept tabs on the unfolding drama of the hostage situation playing out at the Discovery Communications headquarters in downtown Silver Spring. Far more riveting than any crime drama on television, the event came to conclusion around quitting time a little before 5:30 pm.

Hopping onto a practically empty Metro (see what you folks who leave town early for a long Labor Day weekend miss?) I arrived at Silver Spring.  From the Metro platform I could see that Colesville Road and Wayne Avenue were still closed to traffic but that commuters were being allowed to exit Metro on the Discovery side of the station.  

Approaching Wayne Avenue I could see a press conference taking place and went over to see what I had seen earlier on the air.  It was somewhat surreal to see it all in person.

Unfortunately this was not downtown Silver Spring's first high profile hostage event. Just two blocks away on February 9, 1977, seven individuals were taken hostage in the Citizens Bank and Trust Co. of Maryland at Blair Park Shopping Center, known today as Blair Plaza.  Twenty-seven-year-old Vietnam veteran Stephen Wyatt Gregory, armed with two rifles and 250 rounds of ammunition, fired about 200 shots inside the bank.

Seven hours later Gregory surrendered after negotiations with police, FBI, and his mother.

Pedestrians were allowed on Colesville Road
but only on the opposite side of the street from
Discovery Communications.
Copyright Jerry A. McCoy 2010.
News 4's Pat Collins reporting from the scene.  Copyright Jerry A. McCoy 2010.
A scene you don't see every day during PM rush hour.  Copyright Jerry A. McCoy 2010.
WUSA-TV 9's Derek McGinty (on knees in white shirt and nice tie) asks Montgomery County Chief of Police J. Thomas Manger about the death of terrorist James J. Lee who held three people at gunpoint.  The press conference was held at the corner of Colesville Road and Wayne Avenue.  Copyright Jerry A. McCoy 2010.

Broadcast satellite trucks on Colesville Road between the Silver Spring Metro Station and 2nd Avenue..
Copyright Jerry A. McCoy 2010.

1 comment:

StreetsofWashington said...

Thanks for the inside look at today's memorable drama, Jerry