Annapolis attack: Deadliest day for journalism in US since 9/11

Clay Curtis
July 1, 2018

In a blood-curdling incident, which is being called the deadliest day for journalism in the USA in many years, five employees of the Capital Gazette newspaper were shot dead in Annapolis, Maryland, on Thursday, June 28.

Reports from Capital Gazette staffers about the scene - a gunman shooting through a glass door, people hiding under their desks and listening to him reload - are horrifying, and we are deeply grateful to the police who arrived nearly immediately and took the alleged gunman, identified as Jarrod W. Ramos, into custody.

The attacker had mutilated his fingers in an apparent attempt to make it harder to identify him, according to a law enforcement official who was not authorized to discuss the investigation and spoke on condition of anonymity. "He entered the building with a shotgun and he looked for his victims as he walked through the lower level".

Krampf said the gunman was a Maryland resident, but didn't name him. One of those tweets targeted one of the journalists killed Thursday, Rob Hiaasen. Also slain were editorial page editor Gerald Fischman; special publications editor Wendi Winters; writer 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.

Phil Davis, a courts and crime reporter for the paper, tweeted that the gunman shot out the glass door to the office and fired into the newsroom, sending people scrambling under desks.

"A single shooter shot multiple people at my office, some of whom are dead", he wrote.

Davis added: "There is nothing more terrifying than hearing multiple people get shot while you're under your desk and then hear the gunman reload". He was later identified using facial recognition technology.

Amid a devastating attack that killed five people at a historic Maryland newspaper, journalists at the paper took to social media to seek help and report on the fatal shooting.

President Donald Trump and Press Secretary Sarah Sanders also tweeted remarks following the massacre, being joined by numerous politicians throughout the country. His lawsuit was dismissed in 2013, and an appellate court upheld the dismissal in 2015.

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But we didn't expect the complication of the draw, of suffering so much. "It is a joy and one that we deserved". It had been an impressive half from Argentina but the game was to take a twist shortly after the interval.

As a presidential candidate and after his election, Trump has repeatedly criticized the press, referring to several major news organizations as "fake news" and calling a group that included the New York Times, CNN and CBS "the enemy of the American people".

"He had some type of conflict with the paper in general", said Lt. Ryan Frashure, an Anne Arundel County Police spokesman. Police arrived within a minute, local officials said, and surrounded the gunman.

Police said the shooting was a "targeted attack" on the Capital Gazette.

On TV reports, people could be seen leaving the building with their hands up, as police officers urged them to depart through a parking lot and officers converged on the building.

"We know that there were threats sent to The Capital-Gazette through social media", Krampf 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.".

A reporter at the newspaper where there are reports of an active shooter say a gunman shot multiple people.

"I don't know what else to do except this", he said. He tweeted: "I can tell you this: We are putting out a damn paper tomorrow".

Word of a shooting in the newsroom spread rapidly through the media far beyond Maryland as reporters reflected on their memories of working at the Capital or community newspapers like it and contemplated the possibility that their newsrooms could become scenes of violence, too.

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