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Police say the Capital Gazette newspaper shooting that left at least 5 people dead in Annapolis, Maryland was “a targeted attack.”
USA TODAY

The suspect in the shooting deaths of five people at a newspaper in Maryland has been charged with five counts of first-degree murder, court records filed Friday show.

Jarrod W. Ramos is accused of opening fire at the Capital Gazette office in Annapolis on Thursday. In addition to the deaths, two people were wounded.

The online records do not list an attorney for Ramos, who is scheduled for a bail hearing 10:30 a.m. Friday in Annapolis.

Court documents show Ramos, 38, filed a defamation suit against the newspaper in 2012, but a judge threw out the lawsuit, saying Ramos “fails to come close to alleging a case of defamation.” A Maryland appeals court upheld the ruling.

Authorities surrounded an apartment complex connected to Ramos on Thursday evening in a small neighborhood in Laurel, Maryland. Police taped off the area near Ramos’ small side street Thursday evening as helicopters flew overhead. 

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William Krampf, acting police chief of Anne Arundel County, acknowledged that threats had been made as recently as Thursday to the newspaper via social media that “indicated violence,” but it was not clear whether they came from the suspect.

Crime reporter Phil Davis, who took cover under a desk at the height of the melee, described the scene to The Baltimore Sun, which which owns the newspaper, as “like a war zone.”

The five victims, all employees of the newspaper, were assistant editor and columnist Rob Hiaasen, special publications editor Wendi Winters, writer John McNamara, editorial page editor Gerald Fischman and sales assistant Rebecca Smith.

Contributing: Doug Stanglin, John Bacon, William Cummings, Sean Rossman and Ryan W. Miller, USA TODAY; The Associated Press.

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