Police confirm deadly mass shooting at Maryland newspaper was ‘targeted attack’

Five people were killed at The Capital newspaper in Annapolis, Maryland.

Police respond to reports of an active shooter at the office of The Capital newspaper in Annapolis, Maryland. (CREDIT: MSNBC, SCREENSHOT)
Police respond to reports of an active shooter at the office of The Capital newspaper in Annapolis, Maryland. (CREDIT: MSNBC, SCREENSHOT)

Five people were killed and several others seriously injured when a gunman opened fire at the offices of The Capital newspaper in Annapolis, Maryland on Thursday afternoon.

According to Phil Davis, a Capital reporter, multiple people were shot. He tweeted that the gunman shot through the glass door to the paper’s office and opened fire on the employees. The newspaper is owned by The Baltimore Sun Media Group, which also owns its sister site, the Maryland Gazette.

According to acting Anne Arundel County Chief William Krampf, the alleged gunman was a “white male” in his late 30s who had a “history” with The Capital newspaper. Krampf said the suspect previously made threats against the paper, though he would not elaborate on how or when those threats were made — saying only that they “indicated violence.”

Police said that the suspect used a shotgun, and that smoke bombs were discovered in the suspect’s backpack. The shooter was taken into custody by police, and is reportedly refusing to cooperate. Police were at pains to say that they had no information on the unconfirmed reports that the suspect had burned his fingers to make it difficult to identify him, and added that they will release his name and other information “soon.”


“It was quite obvious that this individual had some sort of vendetta against The Capital,”  Lt. Ryan Frashure said. “They were targeted.”

Phil Davis, the crime reporter for The Capital, witnessed the shooting. Speaking with The Baltimore Sun, Davis said, “I’m a police reporter. I write about this stuff — not necessarily to this extent, but shootings and death — all the time. But as much as I’m going to try to articulate how traumatizing it is to be hiding under your desk, you don’t know until you’re there and you feel helpless.”

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives was also assisting Anne Arundel Police with their investigation, including with special agents and a task force.


“Absolutely devastated to learn of this tragedy in Annapolis,” Gov. Larry Hogan (R-MA) tweeted in response to the incident. “Praying for those at the scene and for our community.”

In a statement on his official Twitter account, Rep. Anthony Brown (D-MD), who was on the scene with county officials, said he was similarly “devastated” by the incident.

“I’m stricken with grief that there are several fatalities and injuries at one of our hometown newspapers. The injured have been transported to area hospitals and the suspect is in custody due to the quick response of our brave law enforcement officers,” he tweeted.

Sen. Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) also tweeted his condolences. “My heart is with the families, friends, and loved ones of the victims as we learn more about this terrible situation,” he wrote. “We must unite to end the violence.”

In response to the shooting, the NYPD announced that it was sending officers to all major media outlets in New York City as a precaution. The offices of The Baltimore Sun have also been searched by police as a precaution.

Correction: The newspaper offices were initially identified as the offices of the Capital Gazette. The newspaper’s name is actually The Capital, it’s sister newspaper is called the Maryland Gazette. Both are owned by The Baltimore Sun Media Group.

This story has been updated with new information from Anne Arundel Police’s Thursday night press briefing.