'I'm Ready to Die': Discovery Gunman Told Negotiators

Thomas Manger says gunman had no intention of leaving alive.

WASHINGTON, Sep. 2, 2010 — -- "I'm ready to die."

That's what Discovery Channel gunman James Lee repeatedly told negotiators yesterday as he held three hostages in the lobby of the Silver Spring, MD office building.

The gunman's disturbed, agitated state of mind is just one of a number of exclusive, new details that have emerged from an ABC News interview with Montgomery County Police Chief Thomas Manger.

"I had a gut feeling of how things were going to turn out," Manger said. "My sense from listening to him was that he had no intention of leaving alive."

Chief Manger said when Lee first entered the Discovery Channel lobby, he discharged his firearm and took three hostages. The Department's Emergency Response Team was quickly able to move into position near an exterior wall of the lobby, while other officers relayed to them what they could see was happening in the lobby via surveillance camera. What it revealed was chilling.

"They were in grave danger," Manger said of the hostages.

According to Manger, Lee was armed with two handguns and six improvised explosive devices. Four of the bombs were strapped to his body.

The other two devices were propane pipe bombs, and they were wrapped in a material holding shotgun shells. Lee was walking around the lobby carrying a device with an antenna and a switch -- it looked like it could be a remote control detonator, and Lee kept taking a pin in and out of the device.

Manger said at that point, phone negotiations were at a standstill, and Lee was becoming more belligerent and threatening. He said it was clear that Lee had no regard for the lives of the hostages.

The opportunity police were waiting for came when they heard a loud pop come from the lobby. Apparently, one of Lee's devices malfunctioned, and started smoking. In an instant, the Emergency Response Team entered the lobby, saw the smoke, and the hostages running for the door. Lee reached for one of his two guns, and police opened fire, killing him.

"Any time that police officers use deadly force, it's to save a life... In this situation the hostages -- who were tremendously courageous throughout this incident -- were in grave danger," Manger said.

But the situation wasn't over. Police had to quickly deal with the explosives, which still posed a danger.

"We were very concerned," Chief Manger said, if one of those devices were to go off. The police were eventually able to explode the devices safely, and no one was injured.