The White House on Thursday(local time) strongly condemned the shooting incident at the ‘Capital Gazette’ newspaper office in Annapolis, Maryland, which claimed five lives.
In a tweet, White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said that an attack on “journalists doing their job is an attack on every American.”
“Strongly condemn the evil act of senseless violence in Annapolis, MD. A violent attack on innocent journalists doing their job is an attack on every American. Our prayers are with the victims and their friends and families,” Sanders tweeted.
US First Lady Melania Trump, who is returning from Arizona, also condemned the incident, calling it “tragic and evil.”
“Today’s violence at the Capital Gazette was tragic & evil. My heart goes out to all affected in this brutal & senseless attack, & I send thoughts & prayers for comfort to the friends, family & colleagues of those killed & injured,” she tweeted.
Meanwhile, the suspect in the shooting has been identified as Jarrod Warren Ramos, according to multiple law enforcement sources.
Ramos has a connection to the ‘Capital Gazette’ newspaper. In 2012, he filed a defamation claim against the paper, but the case was dismissed.
Anne Arundel County Acting Chief William Krampf said the shooting incident was a “targetted attack”.
“The suspect, a white male in his late 30s, entered the building at 888 Bestgate Road, with a shotgun and looked for potential victims as he walked through the lower level,” CNN quoted him, as saying.
Krampf added that the suspect’s intent was to cause harm.
He further said that threats were made over social media to the Capital Gazette and the police are identifying the source behind these threats.
The suspect’s fingerprints appear to have been altered, making it difficult to identify him that way, two law enforcement sources said.
He mutilated his fingers to avoid being identified. However, the suspect was identified using facial recognition software, according to one law enforcement source.
Earlier, the police said they first got the news of the incident at around 2:35 pm (local time) from 888 Bestgate Road near Westfield Annapolis Mall, where the newspaper office is situated.
The police said that one person, believed to be the suspect, has been taken into custody.
The New York Police Department (NYPD) has sent its officers to major news media organisations across the United States as a precautionary measure in the wake of the incident.