Maryland USA Shooting - Five dead, others 'gravely injured' in shooting at Capital Gazette newspaper in Annapolis, Maryland USA

The scene outside 888 Bestgate, where an active shooter was in the Capital Gazette Newspaper office / newsroom, with heavy police, fire, and rescue presence.

Story by Annapolis Capital Gazette
Written by Kevin Rector

Link: http://www.capitalgazette.com/bs-md-gazette-shooting-20180628-story.html

At least five people were killed and several others were “gravely injured” in a shooting Thursday afternoon at the Capital Gazette in Anne Arundel County, authorities said.

A shooter is in custody, police said. Police would not name the suspect or say what type of weapon was used.

Anne Arundel County Police initially confirmed about 3:15 p.m. that they were responding to an “active shooter” at 888 Bestgate Road, where the newspaper’s offices are located. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives also responded to the scene.

The Capital Gazette is owned by The Baltimore Sun.

Phil Davis, a Capital Gazette crime reporter who was in the building at the time of the shooting, said multiple people were shot, as others — himself included — hid under their desks. He said there was a lone male gunman.

The scene outside 888 Bestgate, (brown building - left) where an active shooter was in the Capital Gazette Newspaper office / newsroom, with heavy police, fire, and rescue presence.

“Gunman shot through the glass door to the office and opened fire on multiple employees. Can’t say much more and don’t want to declare anyone dead, but it’s bad,” Davis wrote on Twitter as he waited to be interviewed by police.

“There is nothing more terrifying than hearing multiple people get shot while you’re under your desk and then hear the gunman reload.”

In a subsequent interview, 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 said 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.

Police arrived and surrounded the shooter, Davis said. He declined to elaborate.

Authorities said police responded to the scene within a minute. "If they were not there as quickly as they were it could have been a lot worse," Annapolis Mayor Gavin Buckley said.

Officials at Maryland Shock Trauma Center confirmed the hospital was treating at least one victim.

Agents with the ATF were on the scene in Annapolis to provide support to local law enforcement, said Amanda Hils, a spokeswoman for the federal agency. ATF can help with tracing weapons, conducting interviews and other assistance.

President Donald Trump wrote on Twitter that he had been briefed on the shooting. “My thoughts and prayers are with the victims and their families. Thank you to all of the First Responders who are currently on the scene,” Trump wrote.

Gov. Larry Hogan, on Twitter, wrote, “Absolutely devastated to learn of this tragedy in Annapolis.”

Maryland Governor Larry Hogan speaks during a press conference following a shooting in Annapolis, Maryland, June 28, 2018.

He said he was in contact with County Executive Steve Schuh, and that Maryland State Police were on the scene assisting county police.

“Please, heed all warnings and stay away from the area. Praying for those at the scene and for our community,” he wrote.

Ben Jealous, the Democratic nominee for governor, said he was “deeply saddened about the unfolding events in Annapolis.”

“As we await more information from the authorities, I’m keeping everyone at The Capital Gazette and the surrounding community in my thoughts and prayers. I’m grateful to our law enforcement for their efforts to respond to this crisis and ensure the safety of Marylanders in the area.”

House Speaker Michael E. Busch has represented Annapolis since 1987 and said The Capital is “the voice of the community.”

Even with a shrinking staff, Busch said, “they knew the pulse of the community and had a lot of influence on what took place.

“This is a shocker,” Busch said. “Over the years, a lot of these people become friends. They do their job, you do your job, and you respect them for it. A lot of good writers have come out of there.”

“This is really something that is totally, totally shocking, that we don’t know how to understand.”

Sen. Chris Van Hollen wrote on Twitter, “My heart is with the families, friends, and loved ones of the victims as we learn more about this terrible situation. We must unite to end the violence.”

U.S. Rep. John Sarbanes said at the scene that he expects the incident will shake Annapolis “to its core.”

“I know how close the ties are that bind people down here,” he said.

Police were also at The Baltimore Sun newsroom in Baltimore. Police said there was no threat on the Sun, and that their presence was a precaution.

The Gazette is not the only business in the building where the shooting occurred. There are 30 tenants in the building, including five others on the first floor with The Capital. They include accountants, lawyers, financial and medical offices. The newspaper has been in the building since 2015, according to CoStar, a real estate information company. They have 5,000 square feet of offices.

Aaron Smith and Randall Fisher of the Fisher Law Office were on the fourth floor in the same building as the Gazette at the time of the shooting. They didn't hear or see anything and didn't know anything was going on until Smith received a text from a colleague saying there was an apparent shooting, he said.

They flipped a desk over in front of the door to the office and stayed there until SWAT officers arrived. They then walked out of the building with their hands on their heads, like everyone else in the building, Fisher said.

Bethany Clasing, who works in second floor of the building, said she heard a single gunshot and then heard the police yell, “Get down! Get down! Don't move!”

Clasing said she saw a sheriff’s deputy standing outside of their door, next to a man on the ground who was being patted down. The deputy told Clasing and other employees to stay inside, but "literally a second later, they told us to put our hands up and sprint” away from the building, she said. “That was the scariest part.”
Read more: http://www.capitalgazette.com/bs-md-gazette-shooting-20180628-story.html


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