For as much as some might want to blame external forces – or even the White House – officials say that 38-year-old Jarrod Ramos simply had an axe to grind with a Maryland newspaper. Aside from legal issues that go back at least to 2011, a Twitter account associated with the suspect has years of posts targeting the paper.
According to the "Gazette," Ramos sued the paper, its publisher, and a reporter for defamation over a story involving Ramos's guilty plea to criminal harassment. A post on Ramos' alleged Twitter feed reads that he'd like to see the reporter and a former Gazette executive editor, quote, "cease breathing." In the end, Ramos will be charged with the deaths of:
- 59-year-old Rob Hiaasen, a former feature writer for “The Baltimore Sun” who joined the Capital Gazette in 2010 as an assistant editor and columnist;
- 65-year-old Wendi Winters, a community correspondent who headed special publications;
- 61-year-old Gerald Fischman, the editorial page editor;
- 56-year-old John McNamara, a staff writer who had covered high school, college and professional sports for decades;
- and 34-year-old Rebecca Smith, a sales assistant hired in November.
Several others were injured – and while he isn’t cooperating with police at all – additional charges are expected as well. And while some ran for help, the first the world knew of this tragedy was the tweet. Summer intern Anthony Messenger, that revealed the horror: "Active shooter 888 Bestgate please help us." And help came. Within 60-seconds of shots being fired, police and EMS were on scene.
And yes, the wonderfully defiant reporters of the “Capital Gazette” say there WILL be a Friday edition. Our thoughts, our prayers and all our support is with everyone at the “Gazette” today – and with their families.
In one of the more bizarre moments surrounding yesterday’s shooting, police were forced to identify the suspect through facial recognition technology because he had taken steps to remove his fingerprints.
The White House is strongly condemning the shooting. On Twitter, White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders added that "a violent attack on innocent journalists doing their job is an attack on every American." President Trump has been briefed on the shooting in Annapolis. He said on Twitter that his thoughts and prayers are with the victims. He also praised the first responders on the scene.
Source: Capital Gazette