Officials say that 38-year-old Jarrod Ramos had an axe to grind with the newspaper. Aside from legal issues that go back at least to 2011, a Twitter account associated with the suspect has years of posts targeting the paper.
According to the "Gazette," Ramos sued the paper, its publisher, and a reporter for defamation over a story involving Ramos's guilty plea to criminal harassment. A post on Ramos' alleged Twitter feed reads that he'd like to see the reporter and a former Gazette executive editor, quote, "cease breathing." In the end, Ramos will be charged with the deaths of:
- 59-year-old Rob Hiaasen, a former feature writer for “The Baltimore Sun” who joined the Capital Gazette in 2010 as an assistant editor and columnist;
- 65-year-old Wendi Winters, a community correspondent who headed special publications;
- 61-year-old Gerald Fischman, the editorial page editor;
- 56-year-old John McNamara, a staff writer who had covered high school, college and professional sports for decades;
- and 34-year-old Rebecca Smith, a sales assistant hired in November.
Several others were injured – and while he isn’t cooperating with police at all – additional charges are expected as well. The first the world knew of this tragedy was the tweet. Summer intern Anthony Messenger, that revealed the horror: "Active shooter 888 Bestgate please help us." Within 60-seconds of shots being fired, police and EMS were on scene.