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Update On Suspected Gunman In Capital Gazette Shooting

NOEL KING, HOST:

Police officials in Annapolis held a press conference today. The suspected gunman in the deadly attack at the offices of a newspaper publisher there is expected to have his first appearance in court. Here's a clip from Anne Arundel County Police Chief Timothy Altomare.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

TIMOTHY ALTOMARE: It was legally purchased a year or so ago. This was a targeted attack. We can't fathom why that person chose to do this.

KING: Jarrod Ramos is charged with five counts of first degree murder after Thursday's rampage. And joining us now from Annapolis is Patrick Madden of member station WAMU in Washington. Hi, Patrick.

PATRICK MADDEN, BYLINE: Good morning. Hi.

KING: All right. So we're speaking to you from outside the courthouse there. What has the scene been like?

MADDEN: Well, we're actually still across the street from the Capitol Gazette newspaper offices where, actually, this morning, a sort of makeshift vigil has appeared outside with people leaving balloons, notes, cards for the victims of yesterday's shooting. And as you mentioned, we're waiting for this bail hearing for Jarrod Ramos. He's charged with five counts of first-degree murder. And we're also hearing more about the victims in this terrible shooting.

KING: Let me ask you about the suspect. It's taken a while, as it often does, for specific details to emerge. Have we learned anything new about this man or about how this attack was carried out?

MADDEN: Well, we're learning that he had harbored this long-running grudge against the newspaper. He had filed a defamation lawsuit over an article that the newspaper had ran in 2011 that was detailing a criminal harassment case that he was involved in. He was harassing a woman online. And he had filed a defamation case against the newspaper. And, you know, this defamation case was found to be without merit. It was tossed out. But, you know, this suspect kept his grudge against the newspaper and, I guess, had left sort of threatening messages on social media to some folks who work there and the paper, as well. And it it all came to a head yesterday.

KING: For our listeners who are not familiar with Annapolis, this is Maryland's state capital. But it is not a large city that's necessarily on guard for an incident of this nature. What did security look like this morning compared to what you've seen in Annapolis before?

MADDEN: Yeah. I mean, Annapolis is this historic, beautiful city here in Maryland on the Chesapeake Bay. And it has this historic state Capitol. It's not a big city. And this newspaper here really is sort of, you know, the heart and soul of Annapolis, covering, you know, small events but also covering the statehouse, the Chesapeake Bay. And, you know, talking to the police yesterday, you could hear the emotion in their voices because they knew these reporters. They dealt with them on a day-to-day basis. And so seeing all the security here in this historic, old city was remarkable. And it's just very tragic.

KING: I wonder - in the time you've been there on the ground, have you gotten a sense of how this community, this tight-knit community plans to move forward from here?

MADDEN: I'm not sure how they're going to move forward, but I know tonight, there's going to be a vigil at the public square in Annapolis, which will be a march that'll lead to a service. So that will be very emotional.

KING: Patrick Madden of Washington member station WAMU. Patrick, thank you so much.

MADDEN: Thank you very much.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC) Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.