Terror struck an Annapolis, Maryland newspaper office after a gunman walked in with a shotgun Thursday afternoon and started shooting. In the end, five people were dead and two were wounded.
Police responded quickly and arrested 38-year-old Jarrod W. Ramos. It took them awhile to identify him because he didn’t carry an ID and initially refused to cooperate with interrogators, ABC News reported.
But in the meantime, with the suspect’s identity and motive unknown, speculation began to blossom about why he committed such a horrific act and who may have driven him to it. Reuters Breakingviews Editor Rob Cox quickly jumped on that bandwagon, according to Fox News.
“This is what happens when @realDonaldTrump calls journalists the enemy of the people. Blood is on your hands, Mr. President. Save your thoughts and prayers for your empty soul,” Cox wrote in a now-deleted tweet.
Then Ramos’ long, tumultuous history with the newspaper was revealed. The local man was the defendant in a stalking case, and he didn’t like the fact that the Capital Gazette wrote about it.
In response, Ramos filed a defamation lawsuit against the GazetGazette012. He followed every legal avenue he could to keep the battle with the paper alive for years, even after a judge struck down his lawsuit, the Wall Street Journal reported.
Thomas Marquardt, the Gazette’s former publisher, said Ramos’ veiled threats toward the newspaper were so worrying that everyone on staff knew to keep an eye out for him if he ever entered the newspaper office. Following the mass shooting on Thursday, Ramos has been charged with five counts of first-degree murder.
After Ramos’ identity and grudge were revealed, Cox apologized on Twitter for blaming President Trump for his actions.
“When I saw the news today that a mass shooter had targeted the employees of a newspaper in Maryland I responded emotionally and inappropriately,” Cox wrote. “Though my comments were entirely personal, they were not in keeping with the Reuters Trust Principles and my own standards for letting facts, not snap judgments, guide my understanding.”
“My experience as a member of the community of Newtown, Connecticut in the aftermath of the Sandy Hook tragedy, combined with the possibility that my colleagues in the press were being targeted, pushed me into a state of emotional distress,” he continued. “I am sorry for my comments, which I quickly deleted and have disavowed, and especially remorseful if they did anything to distract from the thoughts and love we must send to the community of Annapolis.”