Capital-Gazette Shooting Annapolis: Five dead, gunman in custody.
Five people were killed Thursday in a shooting at a local newspaper building in Maryland, and several others were gravely wounded, officials in Annapolis said. One suspect is in custody.
The shooting at the Capital Gazette newspaper prompted a massive police response, with employees evacuated from the building with hands raised above their heads. The Gazette is a local newspaper owned by The Baltimore Sun.
William Krampf, acting chief of police for Anne Arundel County, confirmed five dead and several others seriously wounded at a press conference Thursday afternoon.
“We’ve had a terrible shooting incident here this afternoon,” Anne Arundel County Executive Steve Schuh said.
Two law enforcement sources tell CBS News the suspect used a shotgun, and a police spokesman described the weapon as a long gun. One law enforcement source says the suspect is a white male in his 20s and didn’t have identification on him. The suspect is refusing to identify himself. The suspect damaged his fingertips in an effort to avoid identification, a law enforcement source tells CBS News.
A senior federal law enforcement source says the suspect was also carrying fake grenades. Smoke bombs and flash bang devices were found in his backpack, a source said.
Krampf said officials discovered what they thought was an explosive device in the building, which has been “taken care of.” He said he didn’t expect to recover more devices.
Police said they have evacuated and cleared the building but are still continuing to process it for evidence. Over 170 people were safely escorted out of the building, Krampf said. They were brought to a re-unification center that had been set up at a nearby mall.
The first shots were reported at 2:40 p.m. after the shooter entered the building, which also houses other businesses, CBS Baltimore reports. Anne Arundel police spokesman Lt. Ryan Frashure said officers raced to the scene, arriving in 60 seconds. No gunfire was exchanged between the suspect and the officers before he was taken into custody, Frashure said.
He credited active shooter training for the quick response.
Phil Davis, a Gazette reporter, tweeted that he was in the building when the shooting happened. Davis said via Twitter the gunman shot through the glass door to the office and opened fire on multiple employees. He said he hid under his desk and employees heard the gunman reload.
Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan called it a “tragic situation.” He and Schuh praised local law enforcement for their quick response, which they said prevented further bloodshed.
Sources tell CBS News five other people were injured. One patient was being treated at the University of Maryland Medical Center, a spokesperson confirmed. The seriousness of the patient’s injuries wasn’t immediately available. The Anne Arundel Medical Center, which is nearby the shooting scene, said staff there are treating two people with minor injuries, neither from a gunshot.
In an interview with The Capital Gazette’s website, Davis said it “was like a war zone” inside the newspaper’s offices — a situation that would be “hard to describe for a while.”
“I’m a police reporter. I write about this stuff — not necessarily to this extent, but shootings and death — all the time,” he said. “But as much as I’m going to try to articulate how traumatizing it is to be hiding under your desk, you don’t know until you’re there and you feel helpless.”
Davis told the paper he and others were still hiding under their desks when the shooter stopped firing. “I don’t know why. I don’t know why he stopped,” he said.
President Trump tweeted that he had been briefed on the shooting and said his “thoughts and prayers are with the victims and their families.” Officials from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and FBI were aiding in the law enforcement response.
The Capital Gazette’s staff includes three people on the executive staff as well as seven editors, according to CapitalGazette.com. Eight staff writers cover topics including courts, entertainment and education.