At least five people are dead in what police are calling a “targeted attack on the Capital Gazette,” a newspaper in Annapolis, Maryland.
Jarrod Warren Ramos, 38, of Laurel, MD has been named as the suspect. Ramos reportedly lost a libel claim against the paper in 2012.
Ramos was found guilty of harassment in 2013 and sentenced to probation. He lost an appeal for a trial by jury in 2015.
In an email exchange between Ramos and several staff members of the Capital Gazette from November 2016, Ramos lashed out at the paper for apparently removing a comment he made from a story they ran about his harassment case.
“You people have no explanation for the removal of my comment?” he wrote. “Even though it appears you have acted with personal spite, ill will, and a desire to see me come to harm? Even though it appears to be a conscious effort to conceal or ignore anything contrary to the words of a vengeful source of highly questionable credibility? Are you guys truly the champions of free speech, accountability, and organizational transparency, or do those things only really matter when they suit your purposes to make people look bad and generate revenue?”
Ramos filed an action against for libel a few days later, which he ultimately lost.
Public record shows that Ramos is not a registered voter.
Today’s shooting occurred around 2:40pm, when authorities were called to the scene. Since the attack, numerous reports have stated that there may have been explosive devises on scene which have been “taken care of,” and that the scene is now secure.
“Police said the suspect had not yet been identified but they know he is a white, adult male and the weapon used was ‘described as a long gun,'” according to Fox. “Police also said ‘there was no gunfire exchanged between officers and the suspect.’
The Associated Press has reported that the suspect is not cooperating with authorities.
“Law enforcement encountered a problem identifying the suspect because he has mutilated fingers,” said the Fox Report. “However, it is unclear if they were self-mutilated, resulted from injuries during the shooting or were longstanding injuries.”
“Gunman shot through the glass door to the office and opened fire on multiple employees” wrote Capital Gazette reporter Phil Davis, who was present during the attack. “Can’t say much more and don’t want to declare anyone dead, but it’s bad.”
Gunman shot through the glass door to the office and opened fire on multiple employees. Can't say much more and don't want to declare anyone dead, but it's bad.
— Phil Davis (@PDavis_LLC) June 28, 2018
Locked and Loaded: Pentagon Grants Soldiers in DC Power to use Lethal Force
The National Guard have been authorized to use lethal force, if needed.
Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy has authorized the twenty thousand National Guard members providing security around the U.S. Capitol to carry lethal weapons as Washington, D.C., braces for Inauguration Day.
“On January 12, 2021, National Guardsmen were given authorization to be armed in support of the U.S. Capitol Police to protect the U.S. Capitol and individual members of Congress and their staff,” according to a statement from the D.C. National Guard, which is commanding Guard forces in the city, including units deployed from six other states, to provide security for President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration next week,” the DC National Guard revealed in a statement “This was requested by federal authorities and authorized by the Secretary of the Army.”
The National Guard Bureau declined to specify what weapons troops would carry.
“National Guard members are postured to meet the requirements of the supported civil authorities, up to and including protective equipment and being armed if necessary,” said the statement. “The public’s safety is our top priority.”
Gen. Daniel R. Hokanson, chief of the National Guard Bureau, told media members on Monday that a force of up to 15,000 will deploy to D.C. with all their issued equipment, including their individual weapons. So if the need arises, “they are close by and they are readily accessible.”
The Pentagon initially authorized up to six thousand two hundred Guard members from Maryland, Virginia, New York, New Jersey, Delaware and Pennsylvania to deploy to D.C. on federal status to maintain security through Inauguration Day.
The history of National Guard members being a part of the presidential inauguration dates back to the first inauguration of President George Washington in 1789.
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