5 dead, suspect identified in targeted Capital Gazette shooting

ANNAPOLIS, Md. -- Five people are dead, and a suspect is in custody in a targeted shooting at the Capital Gazette newsroom in Annapolis, officials say.

Authorities confirm that five people died in the shooting and two people were superficially injured. Those victims were taken to a medical center to be treated.

The names of the five victims have been released by police. Police say they all worked for the Capital Gazette:

  • Wendi Williams - Community News Reporter
  • Rebecca Smith - Sales Assistant
  • Robert Hiaason - Columnist/Assistant Editor
  • Gerald Fischman - Editorial Page Editor
  • John McNamara - Editor of Bowie Blade-News and the Crofton-West County Gazette

CNN reports that the shooter has been identified as 38-year-old Jarrod Ramos, who filed a defamation lawsuit against the newspaper in 2012.

The shooter is currently being interrogated by police and several witnesses are being interviewed. Police say the shooter is a white adult male in his 30's and used a shot gun. Police confirmed the shooter is a resident of Maryland. Investigators are preparing to search his residence.

Police say the shooter did have some kind of "vendetta" against the newspaper.

The suspect was found hiding under a desk in the building, Anne Arundel County Executive Steven Schuh told CNN.

The man initially refused to cooperate, a law enforcement source said told CNN. He had no identification when he was apprehended and FBI found no information immediately in the system, the source said.

Officials say smoke canisters were recovered from inside the building. Police say the shooter used the canisters as he entered the building.

Officials say police received a call about an active shooter and were at the scene within 60 seconds. 170 people were evacuated from the building.

Mayor of Annapolis, Gavin Buckley, said that there was an active shooter training for law enforcement just a week ago.

Phil Davis, a Gazette reporter, tweeted the "gunman shot through the glass door to the office."

"I'm a police reporter. I write about this stuff -- not necessarily to this extent, but shootings and death -- all the time," he said. "But 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."

The gunman opened fire on multiple employees, Davis said.

"There is nothing more terrifying than hearing multiple people get shot while you're under your desk and then hear the gunman reload," he said.

President Trump tweeted he was 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.

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan said he was "absolutely devastated to learn of this tragedy in Annapolis."

Police say they believe the building is secure at this time.

The ATF and FBI said they are also responded to the shooting.

The Capital Gazette is owned by The Baltimore Sun.

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