The Capital Gazette shooting suspect hid under a desk after the massacre until police found him, documents say

  • The suspected gunman who killed five Capital Gazette staff members hid under an office desk after his rampage, charging documents allege.
  • The suspect is charged with five counts of first-degree murder.
  • He entered the Capital Gazette’s newsroom on Thursday armed with a long gun and opened fire on the people he encountered, the documents charge.

The man who allegedly gunned down five staff members in the Capital Gazette newsroom on Thursday had entered the building armed with a long gun, blew out the newsroom’s glass doors, then tried to hid under a desk after the shooting until police found him, according to charging documents.

Jarrod Ramos, 38, faces five counts of first-degree murder in the deaths of Gerald Fischman, Robert Hiaasen, John McNamara, Rebecca Smith, and Wendy Winters.

The charging documents allege that Ramos arrived at the Annapolis, Maryland, newsroom around 2:33 p.m. on Thursday. He allegedly walked in and began shooting the people he encountered, the documents say. Surveillance cameras captured the events.

A Capital Gazette reporter, Phil Davis, tweeted a similar timeline to the shooting shortly after it occurred.

“Gunman shot through the glass door to the office and opened fire on multiple employees,” he wrote. “There is nothing more terrifying than hearing multiple people get shot while you’re under your desk and then hear the gunman reload.”

Police said Thursday that the shooting was a “targeted attack” by a person with a “vendetta” against the newspaper chain.

According to multiple news outlets, Ramos had filed a defamation suit against Capital Gazette Communications in 2012 over an article published the previous year about Ramos’ misdemeanour harassment charge, to which he pleaded guilty.

The 2011 article described the testimony of a woman who said she endured a “yearlong nightmare” when Ramos repeatedly harassed and threatened her after he contacted her on Facebook.

The newspaper’s former publisher, Tom Marquardt, told The Los Angeles Times that Ramos was enraged by coverage of the case and began harassing its staff, waging “a one-person attack” on the newspaper chain.

“I said during that time, ‘This guy is crazy enough to come in and blow us all away,'” Marquardt said, adding that police couldn’t arrest him and the newspaper hadn’t wanted to sue. “The theory back then was, ‘Let’s not infuriate him more than I have to. … The more you agitate this guy, the worse it’s gonna get.'”

The Capital Gazette staff spent Thursday afternoon and evening reporting on their own newsroom’s shooting, and published their usual edition of The Capital newspaper Friday morning, featuring a story about the rampage and commemorating their five colleagues.

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