ISLAMABAD (ENNS) Atleast four journalists including a staffer were killed by gunman, who attacked The Capital newspaper office in Maryland, USA.
Those killed included Rob Hiaasen, 59, the paper’s assistant managing editor and brother of novelist Carl Hiaasen.
Carl Hiaasen said he was “devastated and heartsick” at losing his brother, “one of the most gentle and funny people I’ve ever known”.
Also slain were Gerald Fischman, editorial page editor; features reporter Wendi Winters; reporter John McNamara, and sales assistant Rebecca Smith.
Police said the suspect in custody is a white man in his late 30s.
Acting Police Chief William Krampf of Anne Arundel County called it a targeted attack in which the gunman “looked for his victims”.
“This person was prepared to come in, this person was prepared to shoot people,” Krampf said.
Journalists crawled under desks and sought other hiding places in what they described as minutes of terror as they heard the gunman’s footsteps and the repeated blasts of the shotgun as he moved about the newsroom.
The newspaper said two other employees had non-life threatening injuries and were later released from a hospital.
Krampf said the gunman was a Maryland resident, but didn’t name him.
Separately, a law enforcement official said the suspect was identified as Jarrod W. Ramos. The official wasn’t authorised to discuss the ongoing investigation and spoke on condition of anonymity.
Phil Davis, a courts and crime reporter for the paper, tweeted that the gunman shot out the glass door to the office and fired into the newsroom, sending people scrambling under desks.
“There is nothing more terrifying than hearing multiple people get shot while you’re under your desk and then hear the gunman reload,” he wrote in a tweet.
Police spokesman Lt. Ryan Frashure said officers arrived within about 60 seconds and took the gunman into custody without an exchange of gunfire. About 170 people were then evacuated from the building, which houses other offices, many leaving with their hands up as police and other emergency vehicles arrived.
“The shooter has not been very forthcoming, so we don’t have any information yet on motive,” Anne Arundel County Executive Steve Schuh said.
In 2012, Ramos filed a defamation lawsuit against the newspaper, alleging he was harmed by an article about his conviction in a criminal harassment case a year earlier.
The suit was dismissed by a judge who wrote Ramos hadn’t shown “anything that was published about you is, in fact, false.” An appeals court later upheld the dismissal.