Capital Gazette Reporters Promise to Publish Friday Issue Despite Deadly Shooting

The Capital Gazette reporters promised to publish its daily issue on Friday, hours after a gunman shot and killed five of their colleagues Thursday.

Reporter Chase Cook continued reporting from the scene between sharing memories of his co-workers. In one tweet three hours after the shooting, he wrote, "I can tell you this: We are putting out a damn paper tomorrow."

In the aftermath of the shooting, Cook was just one of the paper's reporters continuing to keep the public up to date, including crime reporter Phil Davis.

"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," Davis tweeted after he was safe. "There is nothing more terrifying than hearing multiple people get shot while you're under your desk and then hear the gunman reload."

The Gazette's website also had the news as the top headline.

The shooting happened around 2:40 p.m. ET at the Capital Gazette newsroom in Annapolis, Maryland. The victims were identified as John McNamara, Gerald Fishman, Wendi Winters, Rebecca Smith and Robert Hiaasen.

The suspect was later identified as 38-year-old Jarrod Warren Ramos of Laurel, Maryland. Police said he was uncooperative when arrested. They needed the assistance of facial recognition software to identify him because he was not carrying identification and damaged his finger tips.

According to the Capital Gazette, Ramos had a long-running dispute with the paper after it reported on a 2011 criminal harassment charge he faced. In 2012, he filed an unsuccessful defamation lawsuit against Capital Gazette Communications and then-editor Thomas Marquardt over a column by then-columnist Eric Hartley. Ramos used a photo of Hartley as the profile picture for a Twitter account he created. He stopped using the profile in January 2016, but tweeted "F– you, leave me alone" minutes before the shooting started.

Marquardt, who is now retired and lives in Florida, told the Gazette he was not surprised to learn that Ramos is the alleged gunman. According to Marquandt, Ramos started harassing Gazette staff in 2011 and he even called the Anne Arundel County Police about Ramos in 2013. He was so afraid Ramos would attack the paper that he asked attorneys about getting a restraining order.

"I was seriously concerned he would threaten us with physical violence. I even told my wife, 'We have to be concerned. This guy could really hurt us,'" Marquandt told the Gazette.

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In a statement on Twitter, President Donald Trump said he was briefed on the situation, adding, "My thoughts and prayers are with the victims and their families. Thank you to all of the First Responders who are currently on the scene."