Capital Gazette Newsroom Shooting Leaves 5 Dead

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Scene outside the Capital Gazette

It appears as if the world has gone entirely upside down. Between school shootings in Parkland, FL to separating immigrant families from their children to trade wars with China, the country is being bombarded with negative news. Last week a gunman killed five people and injured two at the Capital Gazette newsroom in Annapolis, Maryland:

Five people were killed and at least two others were wounded in a shooting at the Capital Gazette newsroom in Annapolis, Md., officials announced at a news conference Thursday afternoon.

Acting Anne Arundel County Police Chief William Krampf confirmed an adult male is in custody and was being interrogated by law enforcement.

Law enforcement officials have identified the suspect as 38-year-old Jarrod Warren Ramos. He reportedly has had a long-standing feud with The Capital newspaper, one of the Capital Gazette’s publications, over its coverage of a 2011 criminal harassment complaint against him.

Ramos has been charged with five counts of first-degree murder.

At a news conference Krampf divulged Ramos used a shotgun and had an arsenal of smoke grenades. The attack was also premeditated. The Capital Gazetted received threats on social media Thursday. The threats were general in nature and police are investigating who sent the threats. What are the odds of the Capital Gazette receiving threats on social media, and five employees being murdered on same day? That sounds like more than a coincidence.

Anne Arundel officials released the names of the five employees killed: Rebecca Smith, sales assistant; Gerald Fischman, editorial page editor; Wendi Winters, special publications editor; John McNamara, staff writer; and Robert Hiaasen, an assistant editor and columnist. News is an important fabric of society. It helps to empower the informed. The media gives us information that helps us make decisions pursuant to our lives – whether to take an umbrella outside, what colleges we attend, what stocks to buy or sell or who to vote for. If journalists or reporters are reticent to report the news out of fear of some sort of retaliation then it could have a negative impact on the entire community. This a attack on the Capital Gazette sets a dangerous precedent.

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