The shooter killed five people and wounded others in a newspaper in Annapolis, Maryland, and police said a suspect was being held.
A reporter for The Capital Gazette tweeted that one gunman shot in the newsroom and shot several employees. Phil Davis, who covers the courts and crimes, tweeted to the newspaper that the shooter shot through the glass door of the office.
“One bullet fired at several people in my office, some of them died,” he wrote on Twitter. Officials later confirmed five people had been killed.
Davis added, “Nothing is more terrifying than hearing several people being shot at under your desk and then hearing the gunman reloading.”
William Krampf, Acting Sheriff of Ann Arundel County, confirmed the deaths of five people Thursday at a press conference.
Police spokesman Ann Arundel, Senior Lt. Ryan Frashore, said officers rushed to the scene, arrived for 60 seconds, and engaged the shooter.
Arminta Blatter, a spokeswoman for a hospital near the newspaper, said two patients had arrived there but she did not know their condition.
People were seen leaving the building with their hands raised, as police urged them to leave through the parking lot and officers gathered.
In an interview with The Capital Gazette website, Davis said it was “more like a war zone” inside the newspaper’s offices – a situation “hard to describe for some time”.
“I am a police reporter. I write about these things – not necessarily that far, but shooting and death – all the time,” he said. “But as much as I will try to show how traumatizing it is to hide under your desk, you don’t even know to be there and feel helpless.”
Davis told the newspaper that he and others were hiding under their desks when the shooter stopped shooting. He said, “I don’t know why. I don’t know why he stopped.”
An employee at a petrol station near the scene described an influx of police activities in the area as he sat tightly inside his workplace, which remains open.
In a phone interview, Carlos Wallace, who works near the newspaper’s offices, said law enforcement vehicles and ambulances raced toward the scene as sirens went off.
At about 3:50 p.m., Wallace said, “The road is closed to real goods. It’s like dozens of dozen emergency cars, police cars of all kinds, explosive vehicles, crushed ram vehicles, and all kinds of things.” Thursday.
The newspaper is part of Capital Gazette Communications, which also publishes Maryland Gazette and CapitalGazette.com. It is part of the Baltimore Sun Media Group.
Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan released a statement saying he was “completely broken” by the tragedy.