Police in Maryland have identified the five newspaper employees killed during a shooting at an Annapolis newsroom on Thursday.
Acting Anne Arundel County Police Chief William Krampf told reporters at a press conference on Thursday night that the families of the slain employees had been notified by police.
Police identified the shooting victims as assistant editor Rob Hiaasen, editorial page editor Gerald Fischman, editor and reporter John McNamara, special publications editor Wendi Winters and sales assistant Rebecca Smith.
Several others were wounded in the shooting and were transferred to area hospitals, according to police.
The brother of one victim, Rob Hiassen, wrote on Facebook that he was “devastated” to hear about his brother’s death, calling him a “gifted” journalist.
“Rob was an editor and columnist at the paper, and one of the most gentle and funny people I’ve ever known. He spent his whole gifted career as a journalist, and he believed profoundly in the craft and mission of serving the public’s right to know the news,” Carl Hiassen wrote on Facebook.
The Baltimore Sun, which owns the Capital Gazette, published stories honoring each victim on Thursday evening.
Police have not publicly confirmed the identity of the suspected shooter, who is in custody and being interviewed by authorities. During an earlier press conference, Krampf merely described the suspect as a while male in his late 30s.
However, multiple media reports have identified the suspected shooter as 38-year-old Jarrod Ramos, a resident of Laurel, Md.,
Ramos previously sued the newspaper for defamation in 2012 after it published an article reporting on Ramos’s conviction for criminal harassment, but a judge threw out the defamation case.
A report on the trial in the Capital Gazette noted that Ramos attempted to represent himself, but failed to impress a judge who wrote that his lawsuit showed a lack of understanding of defamation law.
“A lawyer would almost certainly have told him not to proceed with this case,” the court wrote in the opinion, according to the Gazette. “It reveals a fundamental failure to understand what defamation law is and, more particularly, what defamation law is not.”