The gunman of a fatal shooting at a Maryland newspaper office that left five people dead has been identified, according to local reports.
Jarrod Ramos of Laurel, Maryland, has been identified as the suspect who open-fired at the Capital Gazette newspaper building in Annapolis on June 28, according to a law enforcement official, reported CBS News.
However in their recent update, Anne Arundel Police Department did not release the identity of the suspect due to investigative purposes.
#Annapolis Shooting Update: we want to put out again…at this time due to investigative reasons we have not released the name of the suspect in custody. The suspect has not been booked and there is no booking photo available for release. Thanks
— Anne Arundel Police (@AACOPD) June 29, 2018
According to reports, Ramos allegedly used a shotgun and had smoke grenades or flashbang grenades on him when he was arrested, police said.
The suspect was taken into custody at the scene, but police say he refused to cooperate with authorities. In order to prevent authorities from identifying him, he was not carrying any identification and had damaged his fingertips.
Police resorted to using facial recognition software by comparing the suspect’s face with databases of passports and driver’s license photos to identify him, according to the news station.
Bill Krampf, acting police chief of Anne Arundel County, told reporters at a press conference that the shooting was a targeted attack.
“This person was prepared to shoot people. His intent was to cause harm,” Krampf said.
According to The Baltimore Sun, Ramos had a lengthy feud with the newspaper. In 2012, Ramos had filed a defamation lawsuit against the paper and a columnist for a story about a 2011 criminal harassment case against him.
The case was brought against columnist Eric Hartley and had named Capital Gazette Communications, the paper’s former editor Thomas Marquardt, and publisher as defendants.
The lawsuit was dismissed later in the year by a judge who said there was not enough evidence or assertions to show that the 2011 article about Ramos contained false statements.
“I think people who are the subject of newspaper articles, whoever they may be, feel that there is a requirement that they be placed in the best light, or they have an opportunity to have the story reported to their satisfaction, or have the opportunity to have however much input they believe is appropriate,” Judge Maureen M. Lamasney said when dismissing the case, reported CBS News.
“But that’s simply not true. There is nothing in those complaints that prove that anything that was published about you is, in fact, false.”
A Twitter account that matches Ramos’ name links to a series of emails between Ramos and Capital Gazette, as well as statements by Ramos openly criticizing the publication about the 2011 harassment story.
The account had been dormant since January 2016. However at 2:37 p.m. on June 28, just hours before the shooting, a tweet reading “[expletive] you, leave me alone” was posted.
About 170 people were evacuated from the newspaper building as a multitude of police cars and other emergency vehicles converged on the scene. People could be seen leaving the building with their hands up.
The newspaper is part of Capital Gazette Communications, which also publishes the Maryland Gazette and CapitalGazette.com.
The Associated Press contributed to this report
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