Five people were killed and several injured after a gunman opened fire at a newspaper office, the Capital Gazette, in Annapolis, Maryland. The suspect, 38-year-old Jarrod Ramos, who reportedly had a longstanding feud with the paper was arrested. He was found hiding under one of the desks in the newsroom. The police have called the shooting “a targeted attack”. It is currently being treated as a local incident with no links to terrorism. Security has also been beefed up at other media outlets.
The five victims who were shot dead in a “targeted attack” on the newspaper were identified as assistant news editor Rob Hiaasen, editorial page editor Gerald Fischman, special publications editor Wendi Winters, sales assistant Rebecca Smith and staff writer John McNamara.
READ | Who is Jarrod Ramos?
Reacting to the Annapolis shooting, US President Donald Trump tweeted, “Prior to departing Wisconsin, I was briefed on the shooting at Capital Gazette in Annapolis, Maryland. My thoughts and prayers are with the victims and their families. Thank you to all of the First Responders who are currently on the scene.”
Jimmy DeButts, the editor of the paper tweeted that he was devastated, heartbroken and numb. “I’m in no position to speak, just know @capgaznews reporters & editors give all they have every day. There are no 40 hour weeks, no big paydays – just a passion for telling stories from our community,” he said.
Capital Gazette, owned by the Baltimore Sun, runs multiple newspapers out of its Annapolis office. The Gazette, which traces its origins back to 1727, is one of the oldest newspapers in the United States.
A gunman opened fire at Capital Gazette newspaper office. Read Highlights on the Maryland shooting.
CPJ released a statement saying 'violence against journalists is unacceptable'
"We are appalled by the shooting in the Capital Gazette newsroom. Newspapers like the Gazette do vital work, and our thoughts are with them amid this unconscionable tragedy," said Joel Simon, executive director of the Committee to Protect Journalists. "Violence against journalists is unacceptable, and we welcome the thorough investigation into the motivations behind the shooting."
NYPD deployed counterterrorism teams to protect media outlets following Maryland shooting.
"The Capital is not a big newsroom...we are family," says Capital Gazette reporter
Danielle Ohl, a reporter at the Capital Gazette tweeted saying that the newsroom staffers were like family as it was a small team of 20 plus people.
For those reaching out with support, I thank you.— Danielle Ohl (@DTOhl) June 28, 2018
For those seeking information, I’m not in a position to speak right now.
I will say this: The Capital is not a big newsroom. There are about 20 news staffers, a few more advertising. We are close. We are family. I am devastated.
Maryland Shooting has been described as a 'targeted attack' according to the police
"This (Maryland shooting) was a targeted attack on the Capital Gazette. This person was prepared today to come in. He was prepared to shoot people. His intent was to cause harm," Anne Arundel County Deputy Police Chief William Krampf told reporters at a news conference. Ramos had contended against the newspaper over a column published in 2011. "The column provided an account of Ramos's guilty plea to criminal harassment of a woman over social media," a report in The Washington Post said.
A 2012 defamation suit, the ground for the long-standing feud between the suspect and the newspaper
The suspect, Ramos in 2012 brought a defamation lawsuit against Eric Hartley, former staff writer and columnist with the Capital Gazette, and Thomas Marquardt, then editor and publisher of the newspaper, according to a court filing. In 2015, Maryland's second-highest court upheld a ruling in favour of the newspaper and a former reporter who were accused by Ramos of defamation.
Suspect has been identified, according to sources
According to law enforcement sources, reported by Ian Duncan, the contact reporter for the Baltimore Sun says the gunman has been identified as Jarrod Ramos, a Laurel man in a long-standing feud with the newspaper.
'A rare fatal attack against journalists'
The Baltimore Sun released a statement on the shooting says, "Thursday’s shooting at the Capital Gazette newsroom in Annapolis marked a rare fatal attack against journalists in the U.S. — all the more shocking for the number of victims involved."
Newsroom looked "like a warzone": Phil Jones, Capital Gazette crime reporter
While you were sleeping, a gunman killed five journalists and left three others wounded in a Maryland newspaper office called the Capital Gazette, owned by Baltimore Sun. The police arrested the gunman and has begun the search of the residence of the suspect. The suspect in his late 30's is a white male and is currently under interrogation. The crime reporter of Capital Gazette said the newsroom looked "like a warzone" and added that he was hiding under his desk along with other employees when the shooter, stopped firing. The attack has led the police to beef up security at other media outlets and has shaken newsroom across United States, especially local newspapers which cultivated open-door ties with their communities.
(With inputs from Reuters)
Threats to the newspaper made over social media: police
Authorities said the man entered the building and “looked for his victims.” He threw smoke grenades and fired a shotgun at his victims, according to Anne Arundel County Acting Police Chief William Krampf. “This person was prepared today to come in, this person was prepared to shoot people. His intent was to cause harm,” Krampf said. He had also reportedly sent threats to the organisation earlier via social media
First Lady Melania Trump calls Maryland shooting 'tragic and evil'
Today's violence at the Capital Gazette was tragic & evil. My heart goes out to all affected in this brutal & senseless attack, & I send thoughts & prayers for comfort to the friends, family & colleagues of those killed & injured.— Melania Trump (@FLOTUS) June 28, 2018
Attack on journalists doing their job is an attack on every American:Sarah Sanders
Strongly condemn the evil act of senseless violence in Annapolis, MD. A violent attack on innocent journalists doing their job is an attack on every American. Our prayers are with the victims and their friends and families.— Sarah Sanders (@PressSec) June 28, 2018
Suspect mutilated his fingers in apparent effort to avoid identification: Report
The suspect arrested in the shooting, mutilated his fingers in order to avoid identification, news agency AP reported. The official says investigators believe the suspect was attempting to prevent them from getting a fingerprint match. The official says that investigators have nonetheless been able to identify the man, though it was not immediately clear how.
No information on motive: Police
A leading government official for the Maryland county where the deadly shooting occurred says investigators still don’t have any information about a possible motive.Anne Arundel County executive Steve Schuh said the suspect “has not been very forthcoming” with information. “To my knowledge, there was no verbal aspect to the incident where he declared his motives or anything else, so at this point we just don’t know," she added
Suspected explosive device recovered from Capital Gazette's office
The police has recovered a suspected explosive device from the newspaper's office on Maryland. "We have members of the bomb squad on scene," Anne Arundel County Acting chief William Krampf said, reported CNN. "We don't anticipate having any more explosive devices," he added.
Capital Gazette continues to report
“I’m a police reporter. I write about this stuff — not necessarily to this extent, but shootings and death — all the time,” Capital Gazette's Phil Davis said, reported the paper. “But as much as I’m going to try to articulate how traumatizing it is to be hiding under your desk, you don’t know until you’re there and you feel helpless.”
Davis said he and others were still hiding under their desks when the shooter stopped firing. “I don’t know why. I don’t know why he stopped,” he said. Police arrived and surrounded the shooter, Davis said. He declined to elaborate.
Suspect invoved in shooting is white male: police
The suspect has been identified as a white male who is believed to have carried a shotgun, reported news agency AP. The official told The Associated Press on Thursday that the suspect is not cooperating with investigators.
Police not looking at shooting from prism of 'terrorism' currently
For now, the Annapolis shooting is being treated as a local incident and not one that involves terrorism, a law enforcement official said. The Federal Bureau of Investigation is on the scene assisting local authorities, the official said.
Safe and out of office: Reporter of Capital Gazette
Phil Davis, the paper's reporter who had earlier tweeted about the shooting said that he is safe and that he is waiting to talk to the police. "I'm currently waiting to be interviewed by police, so I'm safe and no longer at the office," he wrote on Twitter
Ok, I was not tweeting from under my desk. I was already safe when I started tweeting— Phil Davis (@PhilDavis_CG) June 28, 2018
Official confirms fatalities
Talking to media Steve Schuh, county executive, said that several people were killed and others were injured in the shooting incident at the Capital Gazette newspaper building. "The shooter is in custody and is being interrogated," he said.
Speaking on the casualties, Schuh said, "Those fatalities are so sad and I don't know what to say except our thoughts and prayers are with them and their families and we take comfort knowing they're in God's embrace."
Thoughts and prayers with victims, families:Donald Trump
Prior to departing Wisconsin, I was briefed on the shooting at Capital Gazette in Annapolis, Maryland. My thoughts and prayers are with the victims and their families. Thank you to all of the First Responders who are currently on the scene.— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 28, 2018
Five dead in the shooting
According to initial reports five people have been killed in the incident. Steve Schuh, Anne Arundel county executive has confirmed that several people were killed and others were injured in the shooting in Maryland.
Security beefed up in news outlets across New York
The New York Police Department said it was beefing up security at New York-based news organizations as a precaution. "We're deploying units from our Critical Response Command to news outlets throughout New York City," said Officer Andrew Lava, an NYPD spokesman. "There is no active threat at this time," he said.
Suspect taken into custody, police confirms injuries: report
One suspect has been taken into custody, AP reports. “We did have an active shooter situation inside that building. Again we do have injuries. I can’t give the extent of those injuries at this point.” police spokesman Lt. Ryan Frashure said at a news conference. He said officers must look for other dangers, such as bombs and other shooters.
White House briefs President Trump about the shooting
The newspaper is located in a four-story office building in Annapolis, the capital of the US state of Maryland. President Donald Trump has been briefed about the incident. Trump was aboard Air Force One, returning to Washington from an event in Wisconsin. “Our thoughts and prayers are with all that are affected,” White House spokeswoman Lindsay Walters said.
'Absolutely devastated,' says Maryland Governor Larry Hogan
In a tweet, Maryland Governor Larry Hogan says that he is 'absolutely devastated' to learn of the shooting incident. The Governor has also asked people to stay clear of the crime scene. 'Absolutely devastated to learn of this tragedy in Annapolis. I am in contact with County Executive Steve Schuh, and Maryland State Police is on the scene assisting Anne Arundel Police. Please, heed all warnings and stay away from the area. Praying for those at the scene and for our community,' he wrote on Twitter.
Shooting happened inside newspaper's newsroom: Reports
The gunman allegedly opened fire on multiple employees of the newspaper. According to the paper's reporter Phil Davis, the gunman shot through the glass door to the office. “There is nothing more terrifying than hearing multiple people get shot while you’re under your desk and then hear the gunman reload,” he tweeted.
The Anne Arundel County Police Department of Maryland confirmed the incident