A shooting at the offices of the Capital Gazette newspaper in Annapolis, Maryland on Thursday marked the 154th mass shooting of 2018.
The suspected gunman, Jarrod W. Ramos, has been taken into custody. Ramos, who attacked the offices armed with a shotgun and smoke grenades, killed five of the paper’s employees and injured several others. The shooting is understood to have been a targeted attack on the paper, according to the acting police chief of Anne Arundel County. “[Ramos] looked for his victims as he walked through the lower level,” he said.
According to a report from Time, police spokesman Lt. Ryan Frashure told reporters that police were on the scene within 60 seconds of the shooting. Other police forces took note of the target: Following Thursday’s attack, the NYPD deployed armed police officers outside of news organizations throughout New York City, home to many of the nation’s biggest media organizations.
Who is Jarrod Ramos?
Ramos, a 38-year-old resident of Laurel, Maryland—which is about 30 minutes from the Annapolis offices—reportedly had a long-standing grudge against the paper, having previously filed a defamation lawsuit against two of its employees. The suit, which was later dismissed, centered around an article the Capital Gazette had run in 2011 that covered a criminal harassment case against Ramos, who had reportedly harassed a former classmate of his.
What’s happening at the Gazette now?
Hours after the attack, Capital Gazette employees continued working on Friday’s edition of the paper, with one reporter tweeting, “I can tell you this: We are putting out a damn paper tomorrow,” which was echoed by the paper’s official Twitter account.
Friday’s newspaper includes a page “intentionally left blank to commemorate victims of Thursday’s shootings,” the paper later tweeted. “Tomorrow this Capital page will return to its steady purpose of offering readers informed opinion about the world around them. But today, we are speechless.”
Madi Alexander, a reporter at Bloomberg Government, started an online fundraiser Thursday, intended to “do whatever we possibly can to help them pay for medical bills, funeral costs, newsroom repairs, and any other unforeseen expenses that might arise as a result of this terrible shooting.” By Friday morning, the GoFundMe campaign had already raised over $58,000.
Nearly one mass shooting per day
While there is not an official definition for mass shootings, it is typically understood to be a shooting in which at least three or four individuals are killed. Based on that definition, the nonprofit Gun Violence Archive deems this the 154th mass shooting of the year, or nearly one per day.