Five newspaper employees, four of them journalists, were killed on Thursday in a Maryland newsroom when a gunman opened fire in what police said was a targeted attack on the offices of the Capital Gazette group in Annapolis, the state capital.
The suspect has been identified as Jarrod Ramos, 38, of Laurel, the Capital Gazette and Baltimore Sun reported, citing law enforcement.
He allegedly fired through a glass door, looked for victims and then sprayed the newsroom of the Capital Gazette newspaper group in Annapolis with gunfire, police and a witness said.
Anne Arundel County police said on Twitter that due to investigative reasons, they have not released the name of the suspect in custody, adding that as of Thursday evening, the suspect has not been booked.
Here are brief profiles of the victims, identified by law enforcement hours after the shooting:
Hiassen, 59, brother of best-selling author Carl Hiaasen, joined The Capital, the group’s flagship title, in 2010 as assistant editor after working as a reporter at the Baltimore Sun for 15 years. Before that, he was a staff reporter at the Palm Beach Post and news anchor and reporter for radio stations across the South.
The Fort Lauderdale native was also a columnist for The Capital, and his pieces appeared in the paper’s Life section every Sunday. According to the Baltimore Sun, he and his wife Maria, with whom he had three children, had celebrated their 33rd anniversary just days before he was killed.
The editor of the Bowie Blade-News and Crofton-West Country Gazette newspapers, McNamara worked for the Capital Gazette organization for more than two decades. An avid sports fan, he wrote extensively about the topic and was the author of two books about his alma mater, the University of Maryland, the Baltimore Sun said. A married man, he loved local history and enjoyed rock and folk music.
A reporter and columnist for The Capital, Winters had worked at the paper since 2002, often providing her own photos and video to accompany her stories. The New York native had worked as a public relations consultant for many years in addition to her journalism, according to her social media postings.
Winters, 65, was a “Navy mom” and a volunteer with the Girl Scouts and the Red Cross, according to her Twitter and LinkedIn accounts.
On Facebook Winters described herself as having “Peter Pan DNA, blended with some extroverted introversion, sprinkled with proper punctuation marks and served half-baked with a Manhattan attitude.”
Fischman, 61, of Pasadena, Maryland, was the editor of the editorial page and worked at The Capital for over 25 years. According to the Baltimore Sun, Fischman was “the guardian against libel, the arbiter of taste and a peculiar and an endearing figure in a newsroom full of characters.”
Married to a Mongolian opera singer, Fischman graduated from the journalism school at the University of Maryland in 1979.
Smith, 34, recently joined the Capital Gazette as a sales assistant. She was described in a profile by the Baltimore Sun as being “thoughtful” and “kind and considerate.” A Baltimore native, she lived with her fiancé in east Baltimore County and worked in marketing before joining the Gazette.
Police officers in the Maryland capital of Annapolis responded within a minute to a 911 call about a shooting in progress and apprehended the suspect who was hiding under a desk, authorities said.
“His intent was to cause harm,” William Krampf, Anne Arundel County’s acting police chief, told a news conference.
He did not say why the gunman may have targeted the newspaper or its employees. Police are treating the shooting as a local incident, with no links to terrorism, a law enforcement source told Reuters.
White House spokeswoman Lindsay Walters said that U.S. President Donald Trump had been briefed on the shooting.
“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 said in a tweet.
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
White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said on Twitter, “A violent attack on innocent journalists doing their job is an attack on every American.”
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
A police investigation is still ongoing.
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If Bill had not intervened at that precise moment to bring down the suspect, police say the suspect could have been killed.