Discovery Channel Shooting Survivor: 'I Was Not Going to Die on That Floor'

Chris Wood and Jim McNulty escaped gunman James Lee after being held hostage.

ByABC News via logo
September 17, 2010, 7:33 AM

Sept. 17, 2010— -- Two hostages who escaped the watchful eye of the Discovery Channel gunman who terrorized hundreds of people earlier this month said they knew they had to run to save their lives.

As employees huddled in offices or escaped to a nearby McDonald's, Jim McNulty and Chris Wood were trapped in the lobby of the Silver Spring, Md., Discovery Channel headquarters along with a security guard and disgruntled environmentalist James Lee.

Lee, who had walked into the company headquarters shortly after 1 p.m. Sept. 1, was carrying a gun -- later determined to be a starter pistol -- and wearing bombs strapped to his body. He was furious about what he believed to be the over-population of humans that is damaging the environment.

Believing their time could be running out, Wood said he made the decision to bolt. "I was not going to die there," he said. "I was not going to die on that floor.

"I mouthed to the guard we need to run and he nodded his head yes," Wood said.

He got McNulty's attention and when McNulty nodded his head in agreement, Wood began counting down using his fingers, out of Lee's sight. But when he got down to one, Lee was looking right at him.

"As soon as he looked down ... I ran," Wood said.

The hostages said they've since replayed their escape "over and over."

After running to safety and finding his family waiting for him, McNulty picked up his daughter and hugged her tightly.

"My daughter said, 'Dad let go,'" he said. "I said, 'Uh-uh -- not going to.'"

Lee, who was arrested in 2008 after protesting Discovery, had apparently shown up at headquarters to force people to listen to his ideas that humans were the scourge of the earth.