Capital Gazette writers say they need more than ‘thoughts and prayers’

From left Rob Hiaasen Wendi Winters Gerald Fischman Rebecca Smith and John McNamara

A man with a long grudge against Maryland's capital-city newspaper was charged Friday with five counts of first-degree murder after police said he blasted his way into the newsroom with a pump-action shotgun in an attack that left four journalists and a sales employee dead. One suspect has been arrested and is now being interrogated, the police said.

"The shooter has not been very forthcoming, so we don't have any information yet on motive", Anne Arundel County Executive Steve Schuh said. That case was dismissed when Ramos failed to show up for court two years later. Judge Thomas Pryal said Friday that he found a likelihood that Ramos is a danger. An appeals court later upheld the dismissal.

Authorities said the gunman entered the building in a targeted attack and "looked for his victims".

"This person was prepared today to come in. His intent was to cause harm", Krampf said.

Earlier reports said he had damaged the tips of his fingers in an apparent attempt to thwart efforts by authorities to identify him by his fingerprints.

He also said there was "one victim who attempted to escape through the backdoor and was shot at that point".

Among the victims was veteran journalist and columnist Rob Hiaasen, 59, brother of novelist Carl Hiaasen. Carl Hiaasen said he was "devastated and heartsick" at the loss of his brother, "one of the most gentle and amusing people I've ever known".

The reporter recalled a June 2016 mass shooting attack on Orlando's gay nightclub Pulse and how terrified people crouching inside had texted loved ones as dozens were killed.

Ramos' apartment and vehicle were searched overnight, Altomare said, and some evidence has been found.

Multiple people were shot at the offices of the Capital Gazette newspaper in Annapolis, MD, on Thursday, according to a reporter at the paper who spoke to the Baltimore Sun.

Those killed included Rob Hiaasen, 59, assistant managing editor and younger brother of novelist Carl Hiaasen, who said he was "devastated and heartsick" at losing his brother, "one of the most gentle and amusing people I've ever known".

The gunman is believed to have used a shotgun, according to a US official who was briefed on the investigation but not authorized to discuss it publicly and spoke on condition of anonymity.

Davis who was also hiding under a desk said he wondered to himself, "Are we all going to die?" when he heard the gunman reload.

The police chief said the suspect had a history with county police and had made threats online against the Capital Gazette in 2013.

The bloodshed initially stirred fears that the recent barrage of political attacks on the "fake news media" had exploded into violence, and police reacted by tightening security at news organizations in NY and other places. POLICE HAD TROUBLE IDENTIFYING RAMOSAuthorities said he was not carrying identification at the time of his arrest and was not cooperating.

A police officer stands guard outside the ABC studio, Thursday, June 28, 2018, in NY.

In Maryland, police spokesman Lt. Ryan Frashure said officers raced to the scene, arriving in 60 seconds, and engaged the shooter.

The newspaper said two other employees had non-life-threatening injuries and were released from a hospital.

People could be seen leaving the building with their hands up, as police officers urged them to depart through a parking lot and officers converged on the building.

A Maryland newspaper attacked by a gunman has kept its promise to put out the next day's paper, despite the shooting deaths of five people in its newsroom.

Police denied news reports that Ramos had mutilated his fingertips to avoid identification.

Journalists described how they scrambled under desks and sought to hide during a few minutes of terror.



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