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A day in the life as a photojournalist: Hostages in Silver Spring, MD

I watched the equity markets rally today, had a Thai salad in the cafeteria and I thought I had a normal day at the office on my hands. Then I started seeing parts of my city on Live TV throughout the TV banks in the newsroom at USA TODAY. Hostages in my hometown. Scary stuff. Normalcy gone. I emailed our director of video and director of photography to see if they wanted me to go. nothing. so I packed up a few of my items. waited a few more minutes, then went over to the news photo desk and Kate was all about it. I told her I didn't have any glass (photographers speak for lenses) over 400mm. She said she'd get me into the pool locker and get me some gear. I must admit it's pretty fun walking in and saying "I'd like one of these, and these, oh, yes, and one of those. Especially when the these and those includes a 600mm lens with a $7500 price tag.

Turns out this guy who took three people hostage at the Discovery Networks HQ in Silver Spring, MD has been arrested on-site in the past. Evidently he cared deeply about the environment and deceived himself about how he should act upon his convictions. There are a lot more details about his past protests throwing cash in the air and even his manifesto. I'm not going to go into all of that and give him the pedestal to share his disturbing ideas. What I will share is a photo from the day. And I only took a few photos really. I arrived just in time for the 5 p.m. presser (new photographers speak for press conference) only to learn that they shot and killed the guy 12 minutes earlier. bittersweet news in my opinion. I'm so thankful no innocent people were hurt but also saddened that this guy had so isolated himself from his family, community, that he found it OK to behave this way. Deception always starts subtly. Read more of the story on USATODAY.com here.
Montgomery County Police Chief Tom Manger confirms that police took out James Lee just before 5 p.m. and the three hostages are safe at the Discovery building in Silver Spring, MD. P.S. Don't call it a press conference if you're not going to answer any of the news media's questions! :) Photo by Garrett Hubbard ©USA TODAY 2010

I was hoping for a few more journalists, TV crews, and photojournalists on site :)

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