The Anne Arundel Police Department took 38-year-old Jarrod Ramos, of Laurel, into custody minutes after he killed five people at the newspaper’s Annapolis office Thursday afternoon.
Acting Police William Krampf described the incident as a targeted attack during a press conference last week. “This person was prepared today to come in, this person was prepared to shoot people. His intent was to cause harm,” he said.
The Associated Press reports Ramos’s feud with the newspaper dates back more than six years. In 2012, he sued a columnist and an editor for defamation after the newspaper ran an article detailing his 2011 criminal harassment conviction against a former high school classmate.
A judge dismissed the case, but Ramos took matters into his own hands, threatening reporters by name via a Twitter account he created specifically to bash the newspaper.
Tom Marquardt, the newspaper’s former editor and publisher, told NPR Ramos’s behavior disturbed him enough to contact police in 2013.
“I was seriously concerned he would threaten us with physical violence,” he said. “I even told my wife, ‘We have to be concerned. This guy could really hurt us.’ ”
“I remember telling our attorneys, ‘This is a guy who is going to come in and shoot us,’ ” Marquardt added.
Ramos, armed with a shotgun and smoke grenades, allegedly shot out the entrance windows to the Capital Gazette newsroom just before 3 p.m. Thursday. Once inside, he killed journalist and columnist Rob Hiaasen; editorial page editor Gerald Fischman; special publications editor Wendi Winters; writer John McNamara, and sales assistant Rebecca Smith.
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