At least five people were killed and several more gravely wounded this afternoon when a gunman attacked the newsroom of the Capital Gazette, a community newspaper in Annapolis, Md.
“A single shooter shot multiple people at my office, some of whom are dead,” tweeted Phil Davis, a cops-and-courts reporter at the paper. “Gunman shot through the glass door to the office and opened fire on multiple employees. Can’t say much more and don’t want to declare anyone dead, but it’s bad.”
“There is nothing more terrifying than hearing multiple people get shot while you’re under your desk and then hear the gunman reload,” Davis added.
Lt. Ryan Frashure of Anne Arundel County Police did not identify the suspect, who was taken into custody, but told reporters that “at this point he’s the only suspect.”
Frashure said that right now officials are still “trying to find out a motive.” Police also didn’t confirm the exact location of the shooting; witnesses within the building told media they saw the door of the newspaper’s offices blown out.
Police were on scene within 60 seconds, officials said, and cleared the building.
“We take comfort knowing they are in God’s embrace,” county executive Steve Schuh said of the victims.
The suspect, who used a shotgun, didn’t have identification on him and has not been cooperative with investigators in revealing his identity. CBS News reported that the shooter inflicted damage to his fingertips in an effort to not be identified by prints.
Police originally said he was a white male believed to be in his 20s; after facial recognition software was used to identify him, the shooter’s age was bumped up to 39 years old. Authorities were executing a search warrant at his home and were not expected to release a photo until that was complete.
A backpack belonging to the gunman was reportedly found and contained smoke bombs or flash-bang grenades. Police said they were confident that there were no more explosives at the scene.
The Baltimore Sun, which owns the Gazette, said staffers were hiding under their desks during the shooting when they heard the gunfire cease.
Officials said there was no exchange of gunfire between the shooter and police, and that the suspect was found hiding under a desk.
Sen. Ben Cardin (D-Md.) said he wasn’t aware of any direct threats to media within his home state, and noted to CNN that Capital Gazette does not have a controversial editorial page.
After the Annapolis shooting, the New York Police Department deployed officers to major media outlets throughout the city. Officials said the extra security is a precaution.
President Trump tweeted, “Prior to departing Wisconsin, I was briefed on the shooting at Capital Gazette in Annapolis, Maryland. My thoughts and prayers are with the victims and their families. Thank you to all of the First Responders who are currently on the scene.”
This story was updated at 7:40 p.m. EST