A man with a vendetta against a Maryland newspaper fired a shotgun through the newsroom’s glass doors and at its employees, killing five and injuring two others Thursday in a targeted shooting, according to police. The attack appears to be the deadliest involving journalists in the United States in decades. Local police said the Capital Gazette was targeted in the incident that prompted heightened security in newsrooms around the country.
A bulletin emailed to Maryland law enforcement officials identified the shooting suspect as Jarrod Ramos, 38. Police were searching an apartment in Laurel, late Thursday that is tied to Ramos.
Ramos in 2015 lost a defamation case he brought against the paper over a 2011 column he contended defamed him. The column provided an account of Ramos’ guilty plea to criminal harassment of a woman over social media. Police, who arrived at the scene within a minute of the reported gunfire, apprehended a single gunman found hiding under a desk in the news room, according to the top official in Anne Arundel County, where the attack occurred.
First-responders entered the building and immediately encountered a woman with life-threatening injuries and other wounded people before finding the suspect under a desk, Schuh said. He said no gunfire was exchanged between the shooter and police. Four people died at the scene, and one woman was pronounced dead after she was taken to the University of Maryland Shock Trauma Center, Schuh said. Police carrying automatic weapons rushed about 170 office workers with their hands raised above their heads out of the building to a department store across the street.
‘‘I was so scared,’’ said Rayne Foster, who works on the fourth floor. ‘‘I was very scared.’’
Locked in a room with about a dozen others, Foster had sent a text to her daughter: ‘‘There’s an active shooter. I love you.’’
Karen Burd, 27, was on her fourth day at work in a tax-litigation firm in the building when a co-worker told her there was a shooter. Her first thought was to find a room in which they could barricade themselves. She and four others crammed into the room and called 911. Soon, police were banging on the door.