Gunman kills four journalists after barging into newspaper office in Maryland

Annapolis: Atleast five employees of the Newspaper The Capital were killed after a man armed with a shotgun and smoke grenades burst into a newspaper office in the US city of Annapolis, The Telegraph reported

A witness gave a chilling account of how the attacker started shooting through a glass door to the newsroom of Capital Gazette, which publishes one of America’s oldest newspapers, The Capital, in Maryland state.

The gunman was a white man in his late 30s, The Telegraph quoted police as saying s. They said the motive was unclear, but revealed that threats had been sent to the local newspaper via social media before the deadly attack.

The suspect, who was being questioned in custody, was identified by multiple media outlets as Jarrod Ramos, a 38-year-old from Laurel, Maryland, who had a long-running dispute with the newspaper.

In 2012, Ramos filed a defamation lawsuit against the Capital Gazette and a columnist over a July 2011 story that covered a criminal harassment case against him, the newspaper reported.

The dead were named as four journalists – Gerald Fischman, Rob Hiaasen, John McNamara and Wendi Winters – and sales assistant Rebecca Smith. Two other people suffered minor injuries.

Authorities said the attacker entered the building and “looked for his victims.”

“This person was prepared today to come in, this person was prepared to shoot people. His intent was to cause harm,” Telegraph quoted acting police chief William Krampf as saying.

“This was a targeted attack on the Capital Gazette,” Krampf said.

Police arrived at the scene within around 60 seconds of the attack on Thursday afternoon.

There was no exchange of gunfire with officers and the suspect was arrested.

Police said the man being interrogated in custody was “not forthcoming” with any motive for the attack.

But a law enforcement official also said the suspect had mutilated his fingers in what investigators think was an effort to prevent him from being easily identified. Another official said investigators identified the man using facial recognition technology.


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