Five dead in ‘targeted attack’ on US Capital Gazette

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Capital Gazette reporter Chase Cook (right) and photographer Joshua McKerrow work on the next day’s newspaper while awaiting news from their colleagues in Annapolis, Maryland

There were five fatalities and two superficial injuries, the acting police chief of Anne Arundel county, Bill Krampf, told journalists in Maryland’s capital

He identified the dead as four journalists — Gerald Fischman, Rob Hiaasen, John McNamara and Wendi Winters — and sales assistant Rebecca Smith.

“This was a targeted attack on the Capital Gazette,” Krampf said.

ANNAPOLIS,

A man armed with a shotgun and smoke grenades burst into a newspaper office in the US city of Annapolis on Thursday, killing five employees in what police described as a “targeted attack.”

Officials said the shooting at the Capital Gazette was carried out by a white adult male resident of Maryland state who was being questioned in custody.

INJURIES

A reporter for the daily, which has roots dating back to the eighteenth century, tweeted a chilling account of how the “gunman shot through the glass door to the office and opened fire on multiple employees.”

“There is nothing more terrifying than hearing multiple people get shot while you’re under your desk and then hear the gunman reload,” crime reporter Phil Davis said.

There were five fatalities and two superficial injuries, the acting police chief of Anne Arundel county, Bill Krampf, told journalists in Maryland’s capital.

He identified the dead as four journalists — Gerald Fischman, Rob Hiaasen, John McNamara and Wendi Winters — and sales assistant Rebecca Smith.

“This was a targeted attack on the Capital Gazette,” Krampf said.

The Baltimore Sun — which owns the Capital Gazette — identified the suspected shooter as Jarrod Ramos, who it said had a long-running dispute with the newspaper over a 2011 story “that covered a criminal harassment case against him.”

Krampf said that police did not yet know the shooter’s motive, but “we know that there were threats sent to the Gazette through social media.”

EDITING

“We’re trying to confirm what account that was and we’re trying to confirm who actually sent them,” Krampf added.

Jimmy DeButts, a Capital Gazette journalist, 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.

Chase Cook, a reporter at the newspaper, said the shooting would not stop The Capital — the local print edition — from going to press.

“We’re putting out a paper tomorrow,” vowed Cook as he typed grimly away in the shade of a car park, perched on the back of a pick-up truck.

“I don’t know what else to do except this,” he said. “We’re just doing our job.”

Source AFP