The man accused of killing five in a shooting at the Capital Gazette’s newsroom has been indicted on 23 counts charging him with murder, attempted murder, assault and weapons offenses.
Jarrod Ramos, 38, was found hiding under a desk after he blasted through the newsroom’s glass doors and fired at newspaper employees in a targeted attack on June 28, police said.
Ramos had a long-running vendetta against the paper after he lost a defamation case involving a column it published about his pleading guilty to harassing a former high school classmate over social media.
The rampage in an office building just outside Annapolis left five dead: editorial editor Gerald Fischman, 61; assistant editor Rob Hiaasen, 59; sportswriter and editor John McNamara, 56; sales assistant Rebecca Smith, 34; and reporter Wendi Winters, 65.
The indictment, announced by the Anne Arundel County State’s Attorney’s Office on Friday, also accused Ramos of attacking six other reporters and employees: Paul W. Gillespie, Selene San-Felice, Phillip Davis, Janel Cooley, Anthony Messenger and Rachael Pacella.
The shooting is one of the deadliest attacks involving journalists in the United States in decades and prompted newsrooms across the country to heighten security.
Davis, a public-safety reporter, sent tweets about the shooting after police apprehended Ramos, a Laurel resident.
“There is nothing more terrifying than hearing multiple people get shot while you’re under your desk and then hear the gunman reload,” Davis wrote.
State’s Attorney Wes Adams is expected to prosecute the case along with two assistant state’s attorneys. Ramos has been ordered held without bond pending trial.
During the bond hearing, Adams said Ramos launched a planned and coordinated attack, blocking the back exit of the office to prevent people from fleeing the gunfire.
Police said Ramos had threatened the newspaper in 2013 after losing his defamation case and continued to issue warnings and rants on social media against the publication.
The Office of the Public Defender in Maryland is representing Ramos and has previously declined to comment about the case.
Ramos’s next court hearing is scheduled for July 30 in Anne Arundel County Circuit Court.
Letters that police said appeared to have been mailed on the day of the shootings from Ramos to several people or courthouses involved in his previous defamation case arrived after his arrest.
Ramos had been working as a contractor for the Bureau of Labor Statistics overseeing network security in 2013, but in July 2014, the agency asked that he be fired, according to court documents Ramos filed.
In the aftermath of the shootings, the community newspaper, which had a newsroom staff of 31 before the attack, published the next day and since then has seen journalists from across the country line up to help.