Accused Capital Gazette shooter indicted on 23 counts of murder, assault

WASHINGTON — Jarrod Ramos was indicted Friday on 23 counts in the deadly shooting at the Annapolis-based Capital Gazette which left five dead and two others injured June 28, prosecutors announced on Friday.

An Anne Arundel County grand jury indicted 38-year-old Ramos on five counts of first-degree murder, in addition to other charges including assault and weapons offenses, as well as one count of attempted first-degree murder.

The case will be prosecuted by State’s Attorney Wes Adams, and Assistant State’s Attorneys Jason Knight and Aaron L. Meyers, prosecutors said in a news release.

In the early afternoon on June 28, Ramos blasted his way into The Gazette’s main offices with a legally purchased 12-gauge pump-action shotgun, barricading exits in an effort to trap those within.

Five Gazette employees lost their lives: community reporter Wendi Winters, 65; assistant editor Robert Hiaasen, 59; editorial writer Gerald Fischman, 61; sports writer John McNamara, 56; and sales assistant Rebecca Ann Smith, 34.

Ramos, a Laurel resident, held a long-standing grudge against the Maryland paper apparently stemming from the its 2011 coverage of a criminal harassment case in which he was implicated. He attempted to take his grievances to court in a defamation case the following year, which was ultimately dismissed.

Over the six years that followed, Ramos took to social media for profanity-laced threats against the Gazette and its staff, at one point tweeting his wish to see the paper shut down and its journalists “cease breathing.”

In the aftermath of the shooting, thousands donated in honor of the five killed.

Through two newly established funds, the Community Foundation of Anne Arundel County has raised over $685,000 in memory of the victims and in support of their families — wholly covering the costs for the victims’ funerals.

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