US suspect in ′Capital Gazette′ shooting charged with murder | News | DW | 29.06.2018
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US suspect in 'Capital Gazette' shooting charged with murder

A man who killed five people at "The Capital Gazette" newspaper office in the US state of Maryland has been charged with murder. The man had a bitter history with the paper and police said it was a targeted attack.

The suspect in a shooting rampage carried out at a newspaper in the US state of Maryland was charged with five counts of first-degree murder on Friday.

Five people were killed and two injured in what police said was a "targeted" shooting at the offices of The Capital Gazette newspaper on Thursday.

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The man from a town about 25 miles (40 km) west of Annapolis is expected to attend a bail hearing at Anne Arundel County criminal court on Friday morning, The Capital Gazette newspaper group reported on its website.

Police have not released the name of the suspect, but online court records showed a man was charged with five counts of murder on Friday. The online records do not list an attorney for the individual. 

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A police spokesman on Thursday said an adult white male in his late 30s armed with a "long gun" ― a weapon designed to fire many small projectiles at once ― had been taken into custody.

The Capital Gazette earlier identified all five people who were killed. Veteran editor and columnist Rob Hiaasen, editorial writer Gerald Fischman, veteran sports reporter John McNamara, columnist and local news reporter Wendi Winters, and Rebecca Smith, who had recently been hired as a sales assistant. All died at the scene.

Bitter history with newspaper

The Capital Gazette said on Twitter the accused was a local man who had filed a defamation lawsuit against the newspaper and a columnist in 2012. 

The lawsuit was the result of an article by Thomas Hartley, a former columnist for the Annapolis daily paper The Capital, a sister publication to the Gazette.

Hartley's column had described the suspect's interactions with an unnamed woman, who the suspect had contacted over Facebook, where he is said to have repeatedly messaged her, called her vulgar names and told her to kill herself. The court ultimately dismissed the suit in 2013.

 Acting Police Chief William Krampf of Anne Arundel County on Thursday said the gunman had "looked for his victims."

"This person was prepared today to come in, this person was prepared to shoot people," Krampf said.

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law/jm (AP, Reuters)

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