The gunman sprayed newsroom in Annapolis with bullets killing five people, in what’s believe to have been a grudge over a defamation lawsuit.
A man has been arrested and awaits charges on five counts of murder, after he walked into The Capital Gazette newspaper and opened fire, on Thursday, killed five people. Among the dead is John McNamara (56) a well-respected veteran Irish American journalist.
Jarrod Ramos (38), from Laurel, near Annapolis, in Maryland will face five counts of murder when he appears in Anne Arundel County court on Friday. According to witnesses he entered The Capital Gazette office and opened fire, through a glass door, spraying the newsroom with gunfire.
Rob Hiaasen (59), Wendi Winters (65) Rebecca Smith (34) Gerald Fischman (61) and John McNamara were murdered. All were journalists apart from Smith who was a sales assistant, according to acting police chief of the Anne Arundel County Police Department, William Krampf.
.@baltimoresun stories on all five victims of the #CapitalGazette shooting ---— Cody Lillich (@CodyLillich) June 29, 2018
Gerald Fischman: https://t.co/tKNwpA9iPL
Rob Hiassen: https://t.co/GwGDFs6dUK
John McNamara: https://t.co/4AKdWRSqOh
Rebecca Smith: https://t.co/InHIhHCzWI
Wendi Winters: https://t.co/eaVB6UrmTw pic.twitter.com/MZrTpkf0HX
Krampf told a press conference:
"This was a targeted attack on the Capital Gazette. This person was prepared to shoot people. His intent was to cause harm."
Phil Davis, a Capital Gazette crime reporter, told the Baltimore Sun newspaper that he hid under his desk when the gunman started to fire.
He described the newsroom “like a warzone” and said, “I don't know why he stopped."
"As much as I'm going to try to articulate how traumatizing it is to be hiding under your desk, you don't know until you're there and you feel helpless."
Just hours after the shooting a Capital reported tweeted:
Yes, we’re putting out a damn paper tomorrow. https://t.co/ScNvIK1A4R— Capital Gazette (@capgaznews) June 29, 2018
John McNamara, also known as Mac, was a widely admired veteran reporter at the Capital Gazette newspapers and editor of other local papers. A profile published in the Baltimore Sun described how he switched from copy editing to sports reports, his greatest journalistic passion.
His decades long career included coverage of University of Maryland football and basketball, among other topics.
On social medi,a McNamara advocated for gun control and spoke out against President Donald Trump.
He also made reference to his strong Irish roots:
"Being Irish, he had an abiding sense of tragedy that sustained him during temporary periods of joy." - William Butler YeatsPosted by John McNamara on Tuesday, March 27, 2018
Capital Gazette runs multiple newspapers out of its Annapolis office and the group includes one of the oldest newspapers in the United States, The Gazette, which traces its origins back to 1727. The papers have thrived in the shadows of two much larger competitors, the Washington Post and Baltimore Sun.
Back in 2012, Ramos had brought a defamation case against Eric Harley, formerly a columnist for The Capital and Thomas Marquardt, the then editor and publisher of the newspaper, according to court records. In 2015 a Maryland court ruled in favor of the newspaper and the journalist.
Reuters reports that, according to legal documents, the article Ramos disagreed with in The Capital claimed that Ramos had harassed a woman on Facebook and that he had pleaded guilty to criminal harassment.
On Twitter Ramos said that he had set up the account to defend himself, he explained that was suing people over the mater and spoke of “making corpses of corrupt careers and corporate entities."
The police are treating the mass shooting as a local incident and do not believe Ramos has any links to terrorism.
The Annapolis police responded within a minute of the 911 call. The shooter was found hiding under a desk.
His weapon was on the ground but “not in his immediate proximity” according to authorities. The police also confirmed that the suspect had smoke grenades.
Local media reported that the suspect appeared to have damaged his fingertips in an attempt to avoid detection.
The White House responded on Twitter:
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
Strongly condemn the evil act of senseless violence in Annapolis, MD. A violent attack on innocent journalists doing their job is an attack on every American. Our prayers are with the victims and their friends and families.— Sarah Sanders (@PressSec) June 28, 2018