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Five dead after gunman opens fire at Maryland newspaper's office

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The horrific attack on journalists was reportedly due to a long-standing dispute between the gunman and the Capital Gazette

Anna Freeman

29 Junio 2018 11:42

Five people have been shot dead and others injured when a gunman opened fire in what police described as a ‘targeted attack’ on a local newspaper’s office in Annapolis, Maryland.

Anne Arundel county’s acting police chief, William Krampf, said during a news conference on Thursday evening that officers were investigating a possible motive and whether there was a dispute between the gunman and staff.

The shooter was arrested within minutes by police, and was later identified by a number of news organisations as 38-year-old Jarrod Ramos.

According to US reports, Ramos had a very contentious relationship with the Capital Gazette newspaper. In 2012, he sued several editors at the paper claiming defamation after a columnist, Eric Hartley, reported that Ramos had pleaded guilty to harassment of a woman on social media.

Ramos’s lawsuit was dismissed by a judge in 2013 and the ruling was later upheld by a higher Maryland court in 2015, as the Capital Gazette itself reported.

Anne Arundel County Police named the five employees who were killed: Wendi Winters, Rebecca Smith, Robert Hiaasen, Gerald Fishman and John McNemara.

Hiaasen’s brother, the best-selling author Carl Hiaasen, wrote on his Facebook page that Robert was ‘one of the most gentle and funny people I’ve ever known. He spent his whole gifted career as a journalist, and he believed profoundly in the craft and mission of serving the public’s right to know the news’.

The journalists were slain during a news meeting when the gunman opened fire with a shotgun. Dozens of police officers and federal agents responded within minutes. ‘He entered the building with a shotgun and he located his victims as he walked through the lower level,’ Krampf said.

Two people remain injured with minor wounds, according to reports. Krampf said officers had secured the suspect’s home in Maryland and were awaiting search warrants.

Phil Davis, the Capital Gazette’s courts and crime reporter, said the man shot his way in through the newspaper’s glass door before firing at people inside the office. Davis said he heard multiple colleagues being shot as he hid under a desk.

Via The Guardian.

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