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UPDATE: New Details Emerge About Deadly Shootings In Capital Gazette Newsroom

Police confirm that the suspect was found hiding at the scene. Officers cornered him roughly two minutes after the first 911 call came in.

Lynne Griffin pays her respects at a makeshift memorial outside the Capital Gazette offices, one day after a gunman killed five people in its newsroom. Griffin was a journalism student under John McNamara — one of the people killed Thursday.

The man charged with murdering five people in the Capital Gazette newsroom in Annapolis, Md., on Thursday had previously been investigated over threatening comments toward staff members, Anne Arundel County Police Department Chief Tim Altomare said Friday.

In 2013, a detective had looked into the threatening remarks made by Jarrod Ramos, who was angry over coverage of him in The Capital newspaper, and spoke to representatives of Capital Gazette. No charges were filed — a decision that Altomare said was made out of “a fear that doing so would exacerbate an already flammable situation.”

That was one of several details to emerge in a news conference on Thursday’s shooting. Other revelations include the fact that police used a facial recognition system to help confirm Ramos’ identity. Altomare also said the suspect had tried to hide as officers cornered him roughly two minutes after the first 911 call came in.

“I think fight or flight kicks in,” Altomare said of the suspect. “I don’t know why, but flight won.”

Word that police used facial recognition emerged after some news outlets reported that Ramos might have damaged or altered his fingerprints — reports that police said were inaccurate. On Friday, Altomare said police ran the suspect’s prints but “we had lag getting answers” from the computer system.

Because of the delay, police turned to facial recognition, the police chief said.

The suspect charged into the Capital Gazette offices and used a pump-action shotgun that Altomare said was “legally purchased a year or so ago” to kill five staff members and injure two others on Thursday. In Maryland, shotgun sales are not regulated by state law and only require filling out a federal form and passing the FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System.

The gunman also had barricaded the rear doors of the news company’s building — an apparent attempt either to keep victims from fleeing or to keep police out, Anne Arundel State’s Attorney Wes Adams told reporters Friday.

“The fella was there to kill as many people as he could get,” Altomare said.

Police have carried out searches of Ramos’ apartment and car.

“We did find evidence at the residence,” Altomare said, adding that investigators had found signs that Ramos had planned the attack.

Even in light of Ramos’ animosity toward the newspaper, Altomare said, “We can’t fathom why that person chose to do this.”

In 2012, Ramos, 38, sued the news group for defamation, based on The Capital‘s coverage of a criminal harassment case against him. His suit was dismissed — but in the years since, he repeatedly used social media to defend himself and to go after The Capital’s journalists.

Ramos, who is facing five counts of first-degree murder, was denied bail at a hearing Friday.

Vigils for the victims and their families are scheduled to be held in Annapolis on Friday night. Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan has ordered the state flag to be lowered to half-staff until Monday in their memory.

“There is no amount of clarity that will ever explain or nullify the pain that comes with losing so many lives for so little reason,” Hogan said in a statement Friday morning. He added, “journalism is a noble profession upon which our democracy depends, and we will fight to defend it.”

“The Capital Gazette is my hometown paper,” the governor said.

With the help of its sister publication The Baltimore Sun, the newspaper was able to report on its own tragedy, publishing a Friday edition devoted to the attack that turned its newsroom into a crime scene.

It was “a horrific shooting,” President Trump said shortly after noon on Friday.

“Journalists, like all Americans, should be free from the fear of being violently attacked while doing their job,” Trump said.

He added, “My government will not rest until we have done everything in our power to reduce violent crime and to protect innocent life.”

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Steve Schuh, county executive of Anne Arundel County, holds a copy of The Capital Gazette near the scene of a shooting at the newspaper’s office, Friday, June 29, 2018, in Annapolis, Md. A man armed with smoke grenades and a shotgun attacked journalists in the building Thursday, killing several people before police quickly stormed the building and arrested him, police and witnesses said. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

The gunman accused of killing five people in a vendetta against a Maryland newspaper barricaded the rear exit to prevent anyone from escaping and blasted his way through the newsroom with a pump-action shotgun, cutting down one victim trying to slip out the back, authorities said Friday.

“The fellow was there to kill as many people as he could,” Anne Arundel County Police Chief Timothy Altomare said as Jarrod W. Ramos, 38, was charged with five counts of murder in one of the deadliest attacks on journalists in U.S. history.

Ramos’ long-held grudge against the Capital Gazette included a string of menacing online messages and a failed defamation lawsuit over an article about him pleading guilty to harassing a woman. Police looked into the online threats in 2013, but the paper declined at the time to press charges for fear of inflaming the situation, Atltomare said.

“There’s clearly a history there,” the police chief said.

Ramos was denied bail Friday after a brief court hearing in which he appeared by video, watching attentively but not speaking. Authorities said he was “uncooperative” with interrogators. He was placed on a suicide watch in jail. His public defenders had no comment outside court.

Three editors, a reporter and a sales assistant were killed in the Thursday afternoon rampage.

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 New York and other places. But by all accounts, Ramos had a specific, longstanding grievance against the paper.

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Trump Offers Rare Support To Journalists

12:45 p.m.

President Donald Trump has offered a rare statement of support for journalists after a gunman fatally shot five people at the Capital Gazette newspaper in Annapolis, Maryland.

He said Friday at the White House that “journalists, like all Americans, should be free from the fear of being violently attacked while doing their jobs.”

It was a striking comment from Trump, who routinely calls the reporters who cover him “fake news” and “liars” and labels them “enemies of the people.”

A gunman shot his way into the newsroom of the Capital Gazette on Thursday, leaving five people dead.

Authorities and court records show the suspect had a well-documented history of harassing the paper’s journalists.

Trump said he is thinking of the survivors and the families of the “horrific, horrible” murders.

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12:30 p.m.

President Donald Trump says the Maryland shooting that killed five people has “shocked the conscience of the nation and filled our hearts with grief.”

Trump made his remarks Friday at a White House appearance to celebrate the six-month anniversary of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.

Trump said that “journalists, like all Americans, should be free from the fear of being violently attacked while doing their job.”

He extended his condolences to the families of the victims, saying “there are no words to express our sorrow.”

The shooting at the Capital Gazette newspaper in Annapolis, Maryland, left five people dead Thursday.

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12:10 p.m.

A prosecutor says the shooter who opened fire at a Maryland newspaper had an escape plan he never implemented.

The suspect was captured by police while hiding under a desk at the Capital Gazette newspaper in Annapolis.

Prosecutor Wes Adams did not give any details about the escape plan. He said Friday that there were two entrances to the newspaper’s office. He says 38-year-old Jarrod W. Ramos entered through the front door on Thursday and “worked his way through the office.” He says Ramos barricaded the exit door so employees couldn’t escape, and that one of the five people who were killed was shot while trying to escape out that exit.

A judge ordered Ramos to remain detained during a court hearing Friday. Judge Thomas Pryal said found a likelihood that Ramos is a danger.

Ramos appeared at the hearing via video feed. He appeared to watch attentively during the hearing but never spoke. He was represented by public defender William Davis.

He is charged with five counts of first-degree murder.

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Noon

A prosecutor says the shooter who opened fire at a Maryland newspaper barricaded the exit door so employees couldn’t escape.

Wes Adams said Friday that there were two entrances to the office. He says Ramos entered through the front door and “worked his way through the office.”

Adams also says one victim who attempted to escape through the back door was shot.

A judge ordered suspect Jarrod W. Ramos to remain detained during a court hearing Friday.

Judge Thomas Pryal said found a likelihood that the 38-year-old Ramos is a danger. Ramos was represented by public defender William Davis.

Ramos appeared in an Annapolis courtroom via video feed. He appeared to watch attentively during the hearing but never spoke. He was dressed in blue detention clothing.

He is charged with five counts of first-degree murder in the killings inside Maryland’s Capital Gazette office on Thursday.

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11:45 a.m.

Authorities say the Maryland newspaper targeted in a shooting attack that left five people dead didn’t want to press charges in an earlier case.

Police Chief Timothy Altomare said at a news conference Friday that the Capital Gazette didn’t press charges over social media threats the shooting suspect had made against the newspaper in 2013.

Authorities have charged Jarrod W. Ramos with five counts of first-degree murder in the killings inside Maryland’s Capital Gazette office on Thursday.

Altomare said the shooter intended to “kill as many people as he could kill.”

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11:30 a.m.

Authorities say the suspect in the deadly shooting at a Maryland newspaper used a pump-action shotgun in the attack at the Capital Gazette newspaper that left five people dead.

Police Chief Timothy Altomare also said at a news conference Friday that it is “absolutely untrue” that suspect Jarrod W. Ramos mutilated his fingertips.

Altomare also said that employees Rachel Pacella and Janet Cooley had been treated at a hospital and released after being injured during Thursday’s attack.

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First-degree murder charges were filed Friday against a man with a grudge against Maryland’s capital newspaper after police said he shot his way into the newsroom, killing four journalists and a staffer and wounding two others.

Jarrod Warren Ramos was swiftly arrested, interrogated and jailed pending a 10:30 a.m. hearing in Annapolis. No defense attorney was listed in online court records, but one note suggests he could be represented by a public defender. Another classifies him as “recalcitrant.” Investigators said earlier that he was uncooperative.

Acting Police Chief William Krampf of Anne Arundel County said the gunman “looked for his victims” Thursday in the newsroom of The Capital Gazette in Annapolis. “This person was prepared today to come in, this person was prepared to shoot people,” Krampf said.

Ramos, 38, has a well-documented history of harassing the paper’s journalists that began years ago after the Gazette reported about his criminal conviction in a harassment case.

The attack began with a shotgun blast that shattered the glass entrance of the open newsroom. Journalists crawled under desks and sought other hiding places, describing agonizing minutes of terror as they heard his footsteps and the repeated blasts of the weapons. Police said he also was armed with smoke grenades.

In this June 28 2018 photo released by the Anne Arundel Police, Jarrod Warren Ramos poses for a photo, in Annapolis, Md. First-degree murder charges were filed Friday against Ramos who police said targeted Maryland’s capital newspaper, shooting his way into the newsroom and killing four journalists and a staffer before officers swiftly arrested him. (Anne Arundel Police via AP)

It’s unclear what immediate motivation the gunman may have had. Investigators were reviewing his social media postings and searching his apartment in Laurel, Maryland, searching for clues.

“The shooter has not been very forthcoming, so we don’t have any information yet on motive,” Anne Arundel County Executive Steve Schuh said.

Those killed included Rob Hiaasen, 59, the paper’s assistant managing editor and brother of novelist Carl Hiaasen. Carl Hiaasen said he was “devastated and heartsick” at losing his brother, “one of the most gentle and funny people I’ve ever known.” Also slain were Gerald Fischman, editorial page editor; features reporter Wendi Winters; reporter John McNamara, and sales assistant Rebecca Smith. The newspaper said two other employees had non-life threatening injuries and were later released from a hospital.

“There is nothing more terrifying than hearing multiple people get shot while you’re under your desk and then hear the gunman reload,” tweeted Phil Davis, the paper’s courts and crime reporter. In a later interview appearing on the paper’s online site, Davis likened the newspaper office to a “war zone.”

“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.”

Reporter Selene San Felice told CNN she was at her desk but ran after hearing shots, only to find a back door locked. She then watched as a colleague was shot, adding she didn’t glimpse the gunman.

“I was breathing really loud and was trying not to, but I couldn’t be quiet,” she said. “I’m going to need more than ‘thoughts and prayers.'”

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. Said San Felice, “And there I was sitting under a desk, texting my parents and telling them I loved them.”

Police spokesman Lt. Ryan Frashure said officers arrived within about 60 seconds and took the gunman into custody without an exchange of gunfire. About 170 people were then evacuated from the building, which houses other offices, many leaving with their hands up as police and other emergency vehicles arrived.

The attack came amid months of verbal and online attacks on the “fake news media” from politicians and others from President Donald Trump on down. It prompted New York City police to immediately tighten security at news organizations in the nation’s media capital.

At the White House, spokeswoman Lindsay Walters said: “There is no room for violence, and we stick by that. Violence is never tolerated in any form, no matter whom it is against.”

The president tweeted: “My thoughts and prayers are with the victims and their families. Thank you to all of the First Responders.”

Press Secretary Sarah Sanders added in a tweet: “Strongly condemn the evil act of senseless violence in Annapolis, MD. A violent attack on innocent journalists doing their job is an attack on every American. Our prayers are with the victims and their friends and families.”

Annapolis Mayor Gavin Buckley said the community is grieving.

“These are the guys that come to city council meetings, have to listen to boring politicians and sit there,” Buckley said. “They don’t make a lot of money. It’s just immoral that their lives should be in danger.”

The newspaper is part of Capital Gazette Communications, which also publishes the Maryland Gazette and CapitalGazette.com. It is owned by The Baltimore Sun.

The Associated Press Media Editors promised to help Capital Gazette journalists as they recover. An APME statement called on newspapers nationwide to help the paper continue its community coverage and fight for freedom of the press.

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