Prosecutor: Capital Gazette shooting rampage suspect barricaded newsroom door to prevent employees...

Prosecutor: Capital Gazette shooting rampage suspect barricaded newsroom door to prevent employees from eluding gunfire

By Gary Gately   
Published
Jerrod Ramos

ANNAPOLIS, Md.  Jarrod Warren Ramos, the suspect charged in the deaths of five employees mowed down during the shooting rampage at the Capital Gazette newspaper, barricaded one of two entrances to the newsroom to prevent employees from eluding his gunfire, a prosecutor said Friday.

Anne Arundel County State’s Attorney Wes Adams told reporters at a news conference following a bail hearing here that Ramos, 38, who was denied bail, had barricaded the back door of the newsroom while he “executed a series of attacks… hunting down and shooting innocent victims.”

“There were two entrances to the offices in which this attack occurred. The rear door was barricaded,” Adams said. “Mr. Ramos, as I told the judge, entered through the front door and worked his way through the office, where he was shooting victims. There was one victim who had attempted to escape through the back door and was shot.”

Read the charging docs here:

Ramos Docs by Talk Media News on Scribd

Anne Arundel County District Court Judge Thomas Pryal ordered Ramos held without bail on five counts of first-degree murder.

Pryal told Ramos, who appeared via video from the Jennifer Road Detention Center, “There is a certain likelihood you are a danger.”

Ramos did not speak and showed no emotion, staring into the camera and occasionally blinking.

Adams said the case would proceed to a preliminary hearing or a grand jury.

Judge Pryal denied requests from public defender William Davis, who represented Ramos, not to hold the bail hearing and to impose a gag order in the case.

Charging documents allege Ramos fired a long-arm shotgun to blast through the doors of the Capital Gazette, then opened fire on staffers. The then hid under a desk until police arrested him, the charging documents state.

Killed were Rob Hiaasen, 59, an editor and columnist; John McNamara, 56, a sports writer; Gerald Fischman, 61, the paper’s editorial page editor; Wendi Winters, 65, a community columnist and special publications editor; and Rebecca Smith, 34, a sales assistant.

TMN first reported Thursday Ramos’ long-running feud with the newspaper. He had filed a defamation lawsuit against the Capital Gazette in 2012 over a 2011 column that reported he had harassed a high school acquaintance on social media. The case was thrown out but Ramos appealed to the Maryland Court of Special Appeals and the Court of Appeals and lost in both courts.

In the harassment case, Ramos pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor harassment charge.

His Twitter account bio reads:

“Dear reader: I created this page to defend myself. Now I’m suing the shit out of half of AA County and making corpses of corrupt careers and corporate entities.”

The account had long been dormant, until Ramos tweeted just moments before Thursday’s shootings, addressing Maryland Court of Special Appeals Judge Charles E. Moyland Jr.:

“F… you, leave me alone .”

 

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