Capital Gazette shooting suspect charged with five counts of first-degree murder; held without bail

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BALTIMORE — Jarrod Warren Ramos — the 38-year-old Laurel man accused of using a long-arm shotgun to blast through the doors at the Capital Gazette in Annapolis and gun down five employees — is charged with first-degree murder in the targeted attack, court records obtained Friday show.

Years after unsuccessfully suing the newspaper for defamation, Ramos shot the victims Thursday afternoon and hid under a desk where police found him, according to the documents. Anne Arundel County Police said he is being held at the Jennifer Road Detention Center in Annapolis.

Ramos is charged in the killings of editor and columnist Rob Hiaasen, 59; Wendi Winters, 65, a community correspondent who headed special publications; editorial page editor Gerald Fischman, 61; sports writer John McNamara, 56; and Rebecca Smith, 34, a sales assistant. Two other staff members, Rachael Pacella and Janel Cooley, were also injured during the attack. They have been released from the hospital.

Anne Arundel County Police Chief Timothy Altomare said at a Friday morning news conference that police found evidence of planning at the gunman’s apartment. Altomare said Ramos used a pump-action shotgun purchased legally about a year ago.

State’s Attorney Wes Adams said that Ramos led a “coordinated attack” that included barricading the back door of the building.

“The fellow was there to kill as many people as possible,” Altomare said.

The suspect did not cooperate with police, and Altomare confirmed that authorities used facial recognition technology, drawing from the Maryland Image Repository System, to identify Ramos.

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