Special tactical police gather after a gunman opened fire at the Capital Gazette newspaper, killing at least five people and injuring several others in Annapolis, Maryland, U.S., June 28, 2018. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts - RC17C1F730A0
Washington :US media quoting law enforcement reported the shooting at the Capital Gazette newspaper was carried out by Jarrod Warren Ramos, a resident of Laurel, Maryland, who sued the newspaper and one of its journalists in 2012, alleging defamation.
Almost a year earlier, Thomas Hartley, a former columnist for The Capital, one of the group’s papers, wrote a column describing the suspect’s interactions with an unnamed woman Ramos contacted over Facebook, court documents showed.
Hartley said Ramos sent her numerous emails in which he called her vulgar names and told her to kill herself.
The lawsuit named Hartley, its then editor-publisher Thomas Marquardt, and Capital-Gazette Communications, then the parent company of the paper.
Ramos had pled guilty to criminal harassment five days before Hartley published his column, records showed. He claimed in court documents that his perspective was not fairly represented. His lawsuit was dismissed in 2013, and an appellate court upheld the dismissal in 2015.
According to Anne Arundel County police, the people inside the newspaper office were evacuated from the building and an investigation on the same has been launched.
Anne Arundel County police Lt. Ryan Frashure said investigators are interviewing the suspect on the motive of the attack.
He added that the area surrounding the Capital Gazette building was now absolutely secure.
Capital Gazette editor Jimmy DeButts tweeted that he was “devastated & heartbroken. Numb.”
“I’m in no position to speak, just know @capgaznews reporters & editors give all they have every day. There are no 40 hour weeks, no big paydays – just a passion for telling stories from our community,” DeButts wrote.
US President Donald Trump, who is in Wisconsin attending a groundbreaking ceremony of the new Foxconn factory, expressed his condolences over the incident and thanked the “first responders” for responding to the incident quickly.
“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,” Trump tweeted.