A gunman opened fire at the Capital Gazette newspaper offices in Annapolis, Maryland, on Thursday afternoon, killing five people and leaving several others wounded. A suspect is in custody.
Authorities said the first shots rang out at the newspaper’s offices around 2:30 p.m., sending reporters under their desks for cover. Phil Davis, who covers crime for the Gazette, tweeted that a single gunman fired through a glass door into the office and that several people had been hit. Authorities said four victims were pronounced dead at the scene, and one died at the hospital.
In an evening news conference, authorities praised the fast actions of first responders. Police arrived at the scene within a minute of receiving a 911 call, according to Anne Arundel County Executive Steve Schuh. A suspect was quickly taken into custody without an exchange of gunfire, authorities said.
The motive for the shooting remains unclear. Anne Arundel County Police Lieutenant Ryan Frashure described the suspect as a white man. He added that the gunman was armed with a long gun.
A rash of mass shootings in California in less than a week left at least 10 people dead.
The Gazette‘s offices are located in a building complex that is home to several businesses and hundreds of workers. Davis, the Gazette reporter, later told the Baltimore Sun that he and several other employees were still hiding under desks when police surrounded the gunman and took him into custody.
Governor Larry Hogan, a Republican, wrote on Twitter that he was “devastated to learn of this tragedy in Annapolis.” President Donald Trump tweeted that he was briefed on the shooting and his “thoughts and prayers” were with the victims and their families.
The Gazette is a daily newspaper that has served the city of Annapolis and its surrounding counties since 1884. The paper was acquired by the Baltimore Sun in 2014.
“Devastated & heartbroken. Numb,” Jimmy DeButts, one of the paper’s editors, tweeted on Thursday evening. “There are no 40 hour weeks, no big paydays — just a passion for telling stories from our communty.”