A gunman entered the newsroom facilities at the Capital Gazette and opened fire on people inside. Reports indicate that the gunman used a shotgun to fire through the glass door to the office and then opened fire further on multiple employees.
“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,” Davis wrote on Twitter as he waited to be interviewed by police. “There is nothing more terrifying than hearing multiple people get shot while you’re under your desk and then hear the gunman reload.”
The police responded with great speed to the shooting, arriving on the scene between 60 and 90 seconds after the incident began. The shooter reportedly reloaded and continued firing for some time during the attack, but then stopped for reasons yet unknown.
When the police arrived, they surrounded the shooter, who was then taken into custody. At the time of this report, the police reported in a press conference shown on Fox News that the shooter was alive and being interrogated.
Five fatalities are reported presently with more people reported as gravely injured. The building is now reported as “tactically secure”, meaning that the police on scene confirm that there are no other shooters there. However, obviously the issue now is reuniting survivors with their families, and investigating the incident further.
Journalists dived under their desks and pleaded for help on social media. One reporter described the scene as a “war zone.” A photographer said he jumped over a dead colleague and fled for his life.
The victims were identified as Rob Hiaasen, 59, a former feature writer for The Baltimore Sun who joined the Capital Gazette in 2010 as an assistant editor and columnist; Wendi Winters, 65, a community correspondent who headed special publications; Gerald Fischman, 61, the editorial page editor; John McNamara, 56, a staff writer who had covered high school, college and professional sports for decades; and Rebecca Smith, 34, a sales assistant hired in November.
Two others were injured in the attack that began about 2:40 p.m. at the Capital Gazette offices at 888 Bestgate Road in Annapolis.
Police took a suspect into custody soon after the shootings. He was identified as Jarrod W. Ramos, a 38-year-old Laurel man with a long-standing grudge against the paper.
Ramos’ dispute with the Capital Gazette began in July 2011 when a columnist wrote about a criminal harassment case against him. He brought a defamation suit against the columnist and the organization’s editor and publisher. A court ruled in the Capital Gazette’s favor, and an appeals court upheld the ruling.
“This was a targeted attack on the Capital Gazette,” said Anne Arundel County Deputy Police Chief William Krampf. “This person was prepared today to come in. He was prepared to shoot people.”