A man, who took three people hostage in the headquarters of the Discovery Channel in the US, was shot and killed by police.

Police said all the hostages had escaped unharmed following the siege, which began when a man entered the building in Silver Spring, Maryland, waving a handgun and with canisters strapped to his chest.

Officers negotiated with the man for several hours, who was reported to be unhappy with the network's programming schedule.

Montgomery County Police Chief, Thomas Manger, said an explosive device detonated on the gunman's body when they shot him, and they were working to determine whether two boxes and two backpacks he also had with him were explosives.

The man, who is yet to be formally identified, entered the building at around 1pm local time.

Manger said officers were monitoring Lee on building security cameras and tactical officers moved in when they saw him pull out the handgun and point it at one of the hostages.

Police believe the 1,900 people who work in the building were able to get out safely.

Adam Dolan, a sales director in Discovery's education division, said he was heading to lunch with a colleague when he heard there was a situation in the building.

He was told to go back up to the top floor, lock the door and turn off the lights. Eventually the workers were herded down a stairwell and told to go home.

Dolan said: "Everyone was very scared, but at the same time ... I think people were calm and collected and responded as one would expect in this situation."


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