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Five Dead After Gunman Opens Fire in Maryland Community Newsroom

The white male suspect, who is in custody, had filed a lawsuit against the paper in 2012.

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A photo from Maryland police shows Ramos. (Image: Anne Arundel County Police)

A man who had a long-running feud with a Maryland newspaper shot his way into its newsroom yesterday afternoon after barricading all exits, killing five employees and wounding two others. He surrendered at the scene.

The suspect, identified as Jarrod Warren Ramos, carried out what police called a “targeted attack” at the Capital Gazette, a community newspaper in Annapolis, Md., bursting into the newsroom with a shotgun and smoke grenades. Ramos has been charged with five counts of first-degree murder.

CNN reported that “court documents showed that Ramos had filed a defamation claim against the paper in 2012. The dispute was over an article in the Capital Gazette that detailed his guilty plea in a 2011 harassment case.”

Ramos was linked to a twitter account with the handle @EricHartleyFrnd where Ramos tweeted, often violently, about the Gazette and reporter Eric Hartley, who published the 2011 article about Ramos, according to an article by CNN.

The Baltimore Sun, which owns the Gazette, reported:

“Phil Davis, a Capital Gazette crime reporter who was in the building at the time of the shooting, said multiple people were shot, as others — himself included — hid under their desks. He said there was a lone male gunman.

‘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.'”

This shooting sparks the resurgence of discussions both about gun control, and about the important role that media play in communities around the country.

The newspaper traces its origins to 1727.

 

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