Shooting At Maryland Newspaper Building

Capital Gazette shooting: 5 killed, 2 injured in 'coordinated attack,' prosecutor says

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Police arrested a suspect at the scene after finding him hiding under a desk, according to officials. Jarrod Ramos, 38, of Laurel, Maryland, was charged with five counts of first-degree murder, according to court records.

 

Update 9:00 p.m. EDT June 29: Hundreds of people turned out Friday night for a vigil in Annapolis, Maryland, to remember the five people killed in a mass shooting Thursday at the Capital Gazette newspaper.

At least 300 people gathered at a shopping center, according to the Baltimore Sun, to remember the four journalists and a sales assistant killed when a gunman shot his way into the newspaper’s offices. 

One of those killed was the newspaper’s assistant editor

Rob Hiassen. His brother, novelist Carl Hiaasen, took to Twitter Friday to thank “everyone for their wonderful tributes to my amazing brother Rob.”

“Superb journalist, extraordinary dad, husband and friend. Our hearts are shattered,” Hiaasen said.

Update 2:15 p.m. EDT June 29: Anne Arundel County police Chief Timothy Altomare said Friday that the Capital Gazette declined to press charges against Ramos after he made threats against the newspaper on social media in 2013.

“On conference call it was discussed that the Capital Gazette did not wish to pursue criminal charges,” Altomare said. “There was a fear that doing so would exacerbate and already flammable situation.”

Thomas Marquardt, the newspaper’s former editor and publisher, told The Baltimore Sun that Ramos started to harass staff members shortly after a columnist wrote an article in 2011 about a criminal harassment charge filed against Ramos. The columnist, Eric Hartley, no longer works at the paper.

Ramos in 2012 sued Harley, the Capital Gazette and Marquardt for defamation after the article was published, but a judge dismissed the case.

Marquardt told The Baltimore Sun that he called police about Ramos’s threats in 2013.

“I remember telling our attorneys, 'This is a guy who is going to come in and shoot us,’” he said.

Altomare said Ramos was armed with a 12-guage, pump-action shotgun when he showed up Thursday afternoon at the Capital Gazette offices in Maryland.

“The fellow was there to kill as many people as he could kill,” Altomare said.

Police arrested Ramos on Thursday after finding him hiding under a table at the Capital Gazette offices. He was charged with five counts of first-degree murder. A judge ordered him held without bail Friday.

Update 12:30 p.m. EDT June 29: President Donald Trump called Thursday’s deadly attack on the Capital Gazette newsroom a “horrific” attack that has “filled our hearts with grief,” while addressing a crowd gathered Friday at the White House.

“Journalists, like all Americans, should be free of the fear of being violently attacked while doing their job,” Trump said. “My government will not rest until we do everything in our power to reduce violent crime and to protect innocent life.” 

 

Update 12:15 p.m. EDT June 29: Wes Adams, state's attorney for Anne Arundel County, said Ramos shot at least one person who tried to escape from Thursday’s deadly attack on the Capital Gazette newsroom through a backdoor that he had barricaded before opening fire on staffers.

He said that evidence “suggested a coordinated attack,” noting “the barricading of a backdoor and the use of a tactical approach in hunting down and shooting the innocent victims in this case.”

Adams said Ramos entered the newsroom from the only other entrance to the office. He “worked his way through the office, shooting victims,” Adams said. 

A judge in Maryland ordered Ramos held without bail Friday.

Update 12 p.m. EDT June 29: A judge ordered Ramos held without bail Friday as he awaits trial on murder charges connected to Thursday’s attack, according to Wes Adams, state's attorney for Anne Arundel County.

Adams called the shooting a “coordinated attack” and told a judge that Ramos barricaded a backdoor before opening fire on the Capital Gazette newsroom.

Update 11:50 a.m. EDT June 29: Anne Arundel police identified two Capital Gazette staffers injured in Thursday’s shooting as Rachel Pacella and Janet Cooley.

Police Chief Timoty Altomare said police believe Ramos was the lone person behind the attack.

“We have no reason to believe that anybody other than the suspect was involved in this atrocity,” he said.

He refused to repeat Ramos’ name and said police continued Friday to delve into the motive behind the attack.

Update 11:30 a.m. EDT June 29: Anne Arundel police are holding a news conference to update the public on the investigation into Thursday’s deadly shooting.

Update 11 a.m. EDT June 29: City officials in Annapolis will hold a vigil starting at 8 p.m. Friday to remember the five people killed in Thursday's Capital Gazette shooting.

Update 10:20 a.m. EDT June 29: Police plan to provide an update at 11:30 a.m. Friday on the deadly shooting at the Capital Gazette newsroom.

The news conference is scheduled to take place about an hour after Ramos is expected to appear in court for a bail hearing.

 

Update 8:50 a.m. EDT June 29: Police released a new photo Friday morning of Ramos.

 

He is scheduled to appear in court at 10:30 a.m. for a bail hearing, according to online jail records.

Update 5:38 a.m. EDT June 29: The Capital Gazette intentionally left its editorial page for June 29 blank “to commemorate the victims of Thursday’s shooting at our office.” 

“Tomorrow this Capital page will return to its steady purpose of offering readers informed opinion about the world around them,” the newspaper tweeted. “But today, we are speechless.”

Update 4:38 a.m. EDT June 29: Jarrod Ramos, the gunman accused of killing five employees of The Capital Gazette, was charged with five counts of first-degree murder, WBAL reported, citing state court records

Update 1:13 a.m. EDT June 29: Law enforcement officials cordoned off the Laurel, Maryland, apartment complex listed as the address for Jarrod Ramos late Thursday night, The Baltimore Sun reported.

Update 10:25 p.m. EDT June 28: The victims in the deadly shotgun attack on the Capital Gazette Thursday have been identified as four journalists and a sales assistant, according to news reports.

In addition to Gazette editor Rob Hiaasen, the other victims have been identified as journalists Gerald Fischman, 61, Wendi Winters, 65, and John McNamara, 56, and sales assistant Rebecca Smith, 34, the Baltimore Sun reported.

 
 
 
 
 

Update 9:50 p.m. EDT June 28: One of the five victims in the Capital Gazette shooting has been identified as the newspaper’s editor, Rob Hiaasen, according to the Baltimore Sun

Hiaasen, 59, a native of Florida, was married with three adult children, and had just celebrated his wedding anniversary with his wife of 33 years, Maria Hiaasen, the Sun reported.

He joined the Capital Gazette in 2010 as an assistant editor and wrote a column on Sundays.

His brother is novelist and Miami Herald columnist Carl Hiaasen.

 

The Gazette has also identified the shooter as Jarrod Ramos, who had “a long-running feud with the Annapolis Capital,” the paper reported. 

Ramos, of Laurel, Maryland, filed a defamation lawsuit against the newspaper in 2012 over a story in 2011 that detailed a criminal harassment case against him, according to the Gazette.

 

Update 8:15 p.m. EDT June 28: The gunman in the attack on a local Annapolis newspaper has been identified as a Maryland resident in his late 30s who had a previous “beef” with the Capital Gazette, according to Acting Police Chief Bill Krampf.

MSNBC is reporting the suspect’s identity as Jarrod Ramos, 38.

 

Krampf said the shooting was a “targeted attack.” 

“This person was prepared to shoot people ... he meant to cause harm,” Krampf said.

The suspect had a previous “beef” with the paper, Krampf said, but it’s unclear whether he targeted specific people or just the building itself.

The newspaper had been receiving threats over social media, at least one as late as today, according to Krampf.

Police are holding the gunman and are still interviewing him.

He was armed with a shotgun and canisters of smoke grenades when he entered the building, but did not have a bomb, as police previously said. The attack occurred on the first floor of the building, investigators said.

Update 7:15 p.m. EDT June 28: The suspect in the Capital  Gazette shooting has been identified, according to NBC News.

He was identified using facial recognition software, NBC reported.

Police have not yet released his name.

 

The network is also reporting that authorities are searching his home.

Update 6:15 p.m. EDT June 28: Authorities have not released the identity of the shooter and may not know who he is yet. He had no identification on him when he was  arrested him at the scene of the shooting.

CBS news reported the suspect had mutilated his finger tips to avoid being identified.

 

Update 5:45 p.m. EDT June 28: Maryland authorities have confirmed that the suspect in the shooting at the Capital Gazette newspaper offices was an “adult, white male,” who has not been identified yet. He was carrying a weapon police described as a “long gun.”

A bomb squad is also on site after investigators recovered what they think is an “explosive device,” according to Acting Police Chief Bill Krampf.

>> Related: Capital Gazette shooting: What we know about the suspect in the Annapolis, Maryland shooting

Krampf also said at least three people were injured and that police escorted 170 people safely from the building after the shooting and transported them to a nearby mall.

 

Update 5:10 p.m. EDT June 28: As a precautionary measure, the New York Police Department deployed counterterrorism teams to media organizations in the city after a shooter opened fire on the Capital Gazette newspaper offices Thursday.

“These deployments are not based on specific threat information, but rather out of an abundance of caution until we learn more about the suspect and motives behind the Maryland shooting,” John Miller, NYPD’s deputy commissioner for counterterrorism and intelligence, said in a statement. “It has become a standard practice to shift resources strategically during active shooter or terrorist events.”

 

Update 5:05 p.m. EDT June 28: President Donald Trump thanked first responders Thursday in the wake of a deadly shooting in Maryland.

“My thoughts and prayers are with the victims and their families,” Trump wrote. “Thank you to all of the First Responders who are currently on the scene.”

 

Update 5 p.m. EDT June 28: Acting Anne Arundel police Chief William Kramph said several people were “gravely injured” in a shooting in Maryland that claimed at least five lives Thursday.

He declined to specify how many people were injured.

“As you can see, this is a very fluid scene,” Kramph said.

 

Officers responded quickly to reports on Thursday afternoon of an active shooter situation on Bestgate Road. Police spokesman Lt. Ryan Frashure said officers were on the scene within about a minute of the first report.

“They did engage the suspect,” he said, although he could not say whether officers and the suspect exchanged gunshots.

The suspect, who was not identified, was being interrogated by police on Thursday afternoon.

Update 4:49 p.m. EDT June 28: Acting Anne Arundel police Chief William Kramph told reporters at least five people were killed Thursday in a shooting at the Capital Gazette newspaper.

Several people were also injured, officials said.

Update 4:25 p.m. EDT June 28: President Donald Trump has been briefed about the shooting, CNN reported. The president was in Wisconsin on Thursday.

>> What to do if you are in an 'active shooter' situation

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan said he was “absolutely devastated” to learn of the shooting in Annapolis.

 

Update 4:15 p.m. EDT June 28: Anne Arundel police Lt. Ryan Frashure confirmed Thursday afternoon that injuries were reported in a shooting at the Gazette offices but he declined to give details on the number of people injured or the extent of their injuries.

 

He said authorities believe one suspect was in custody after the attack and that officials believe no other people were involved in the attack, which was reported around 2:40 p.m., according to The Baltimore Sun

Update 3:55 p.m. EDT June 28: Gazette reporter Phil Davis took to Twitter to share information after a shooting happened Thursday afternoon at the newspaper’s offices in Maryland.

 

Davis wrote that a single shooter attacked the building Thursday afternoon, shooting through the office’s glass door before opening fire on employees.

“Can’t say much more and don’t want to declare anyone dead, but it’s bad,” Davis wrote.

 
 

Police did not immediately confirm reports of injuries or deaths as a result of Thursday’s shooting.

Update 3:40 p.m. EDT June 28: Police swept the offices of The Baltimore Sun on Thursday afternoon after a shooting injured several people at the offices of Capital Gazette newspaper.

The newspaper, which owns the Gazette, reported that there was no threat made against the Sun. Police search the building as a precaution.

 

Authorities have provided few details about the shooting. A Gazette reporter told the Sun that multiple people had been shot. The building was evacuated and police were searching it after reports of the shooting surfaced.

Update 3:30 p.m. EDT June 28: Police confirmed on Twitter that they were responding Thursday to a shooting reported at 888 Bestgate Rd.

The building has been evacuated, but officers continued to search it in the immediate aftermath of the shooting.

 

Authorities did not immediately provide additional information.

Update 3:20 p.m. EDT June 28: According to a report from The Baltimore Sun, the newspaper that owns the Capital Gazette, multiple people were shot.

The exact number of people injured and the extent of their injuries were not immediately known.

Officials with the ATF’s Baltimore office were en route to the scene Thursday afternoon.

 

Original report: WBAL reported that the shooting happened Thursday afternoon in the 800 block of Bestgate Road.

 

Check back for updates to this developing story.

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