Police said a 38-year-old man has been identified as the suspected gunman who opened fire at the Capital Gazette Newspaper office in Maryland, killing at least five people and injuring several others in a “targeted attack” on the news organization.
The suspected gunman, identified by NBC News as Jarrod Ramos, is in police custody, but has not yet been charged. Police were executing search warrants at his home in Laurel, Maryland.
According to NBC News, Ramos had a history with the paper, and had previously filed a defamation lawsuit against it in 2012. The suit was dismissed the following year and was upheld in 2015 by a Maryland appellate court.
Acting Anne Arundel County Police Chief William Krampf said at a press briefing that Ramos “was prepared to shoot people. His intent was to cause harm.” Krampf said it would take time to determine Ramos’ motive and to complete the investigation. Prior to the shooting, Threats were made to the Capital Gazette via social media, but police are working to find out if they were sent by Ramos, Krampf said, adding that authorities don’t believe Ramos was specifically targeting anyone at the newspaper, just the newsroom itself.
Authorities said the suspect has not been “forthcoming” with interrogators. “The investigation has just started,” Krampf said. “We’re going to be quite a while in determining what occurred, why it occurred, how it occurred.”
The shooting occurred around 2:30 p.m. Thursday at the Capital Gazette newsroom just outside of Annapolis in Anne Arundel County, Maryland. Officials declined to provide details about the weapon that was used, other than saying it was a “long gun.” Law enforcement also identified that they believed was an explosive device on the scene. More than 170 people were evacuated from the building after the shooting, Anne Arundel County Executive Steve Schuh told reporters at a briefing following the shooting.
According to Maryland Governor Larry Hogan, law enforcement responded to the incident within 60 seconds. A crime reporter at the Gazette provided horrific details about the shooting via his Twitter account in the moments after it occurred.
“Gunman shot through the glass door to the office and opened fire on multiple employees. Can’t say much more and don’t want to declare anyone dead, but it’s bad,” crime reporter Phil Davis tweeted. “There is nothing more terrifying than hearing multiple people get shot while you’re under your desk and then hear the gunman reload.”
President Donald Trump tweeted that he had briefed on the shooting and that his thoughts and prayers were with the victims and their families.
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
The Capital Gazette has been around since 1884 and is a daily newspaper that serves the city of Annapolis Maryland. Its sister newspaper, the Maryland Gazette, which was founded in 1727, is one of the newspapers in the United States.
The Capital Gazette building is home to several publications, including The Capital, the Maryland Gazette, the Bowie Blade-News, the Crofton-West County Gazette and Capital Style Magazine, along with CapitalGazette.com. Other businesses, including a medical office, are also located in the building.
The Capital Gazette and the Maryland Gazette are both owned by the Baltimore Sun Media Group, which is owned by Tribune Publishing. Police also responded to check the Baltimore Sun newsrooms as a precautionary measure in the wake of the shooting.
Capital reporter Chase Cook tweeted after the shooting: “I can tell you this: We are putting out a damn paper tomorrow.”
I can tell you this: We are putting out a damn paper tomorrow.
— Chase Cook (@chaseacook) June 28, 2018