Five people, all employees at the Capital Gazette newspaper in Annapolis, Maryland, were shot dead yesterday afternoon.
The New York Times reported that the alleged gunman barricaded the rear door of the newspaper’s offices in order to prevent people from escaping his fire. He used a pump-action shotgun and fired several bullets.
President Donald Trump called the shooting a “horrible, horrible event”: “This attack shocked the conscience of the nation and filled our hearts with grief,” he said at the White House. “Journalists, like all Americans, should be free from the fear of being violently attacked while doing their jobs.”
The following newspaper employees were killed in what appears to have been a targeted attack against the newspaper, not the individuals, by a man, identified in court records as Jarrod W Ramos, 38, who was holding a grudge several years old based on a story and subsequent defamation lawsuit he had filed against the paper but lost:
- Rob Hiaasen
- Gerald Fischman
- John McNamara
- Wendi Winters
- Rebecca Smith
Deeply saddened about these unfolding events in Annapolis. Everyone please stay safe as the police assess the situation. https://t.co/NnJVO0i5sb
— Ben Jealous for Governor (MD) (@BenJealous) June 28, 2018
Mr Jealous is running for governor in Maryland and is a former president and CEO of the NAACP. Catherine Rentz of the Baltimore Sun rounded up several tweets from other politicians.
Mr Ramos has been charged with five counts of first-degree murder. His failed lawsuit from 2012 was over a story the Gazette had run listing charges of harassment filed against him by a female high school classmate. He pleaded guilty to those charges and was sentenced to probation.