Capital Gazette Staff Warned Years Ago About Shooting Suspect

Five people were killed and two wounded after a shooting broke out in the Capital Gazette newsroom Thursday. Jarrod W. Ramos is being accused of opening fire on the staff in Annapolis, Maryland with a 12-gauge shotgun after sustaining a years-long feud with the paper. 

A former editor and publisher for the newspaper, Thomas Marquardt, 70, has now revealed the staff were warned years ago to call 911 if they ever saw Ramos. 

Marquardt led the paper when Ramos's grudge began and described the suspect as "the most threatening person he ever had to deal with as a journalist." Ramos had repeatedly threatened the newspaper and had even started a Twitter account, which has now been suspended, that he directed at the newspaper and its staff with tweets that directly targeted Marquardt implying he wished he was dead. 

“Everyone knew what he looked like,” Marquardt said, now retired and living in Florida. “We took it very seriously.”

The Anne Arundel County Police Department had previously investigated Ramos in May 2013 because of threatening online comments but the paper declined to pursue any criminal charges against him. 

This came after the 2011 article that started it all for Ramos. An article was written about him, referring to his guilty plea to criminal harassment where he received a suspended jail sentence and probation for harassing a former classmate he reconnected with on Facebook. Ramos ended up suing the newspaper and claimed the article ruined his reputation. The author of the article is no longer an employee for the Capital Gazette and was not present at the time of the shooting Thursday. Ramos didn't win the case. 

Jarrod W. Ramos is being charged with five counts of murder.

Photo: Getty Images

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