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Facial Recognition Used to Identify Capital Gazette Shooting Suspect

Law enforcement officials relied on an alternative to fingerprints to identify the man accused of the deadly Capital Gazette shooting on Thursday.

The suspect, Jarrod Ramos, altered or in some way couldn’t have his fingerprints analyzed by law enforcement, so officials used facial-recognition technology to identify him, according to reports.

A CNN report suggested that Ramos somehow damaged his fingerprints. ABC News, however, is reporting that his fingerprints couldn’t be analyzed because of a problem with a machine.

Ramos is accused of a horrific attack on the Maryland-based Capital Gazette on Thursday that left five dead and two others injured. According to multiple reports, Ramos held a grudge against the paper for its reporting and went so far as to barricade its back door to prevent people from escaping during his attack.

Ramos appeared unwilling to be identified and when he was taken into custody on Thursday, he didn’t have a wallet or ID on him. He also told a judge early Friday morning that he was “not going to corporate,” according to ABC News. He apparently meant that he didn’t wish to cooperate.

It’s unclear how the facial recognition technology was used, but it sheds light on a new, reliable technique law enforcement can use to identify individuals. It also suggests that even in cases when fingerprints have been damaged or altered, newer technology that relies on facial recognition can go a long way in identifying suspects.