UPDATE | Police: Newspaper gunman planned deadly attack carefully


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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) — The gunman accused of killing five people in a vendetta against a Maryland newspaper barricaded the rear exit to prevent anyone from escaping and blasted his way through the newsroom with a pump-action shotgun, cutting down one victim trying to slip out the back, authorities said today.

"The fellow was there to kill as many people as he could," Anne Arundel County Police Chief Timothy Altomare said after Jarrod W. Ramos, 38, was charged with five counts of murder in one of the deadliest attacks on journalists in U.S. history.

Ramos' long-held grudge against the Capital Gazette included a string of angry online messages and a failed defamation lawsuit over a column about him pleading guilty to harassing a woman. Police looked into the online threats in 2013, but the paper declined to press charges for fear of inflaming the situation, Atltomare said.

"There's clearly a history there," the police chief said.

Ramos was denied bail after a brief court hearing in which he appeared by video, watching attentively but not speaking. Authorities said he was "uncooperative" with interrogators.

His public defenders had no comment outside court.

Three editors, a reporter and a sales assistant were killed in the Thursday afternoon rampage.

The killings initially stirred fears that the recent political attacks on the "fake news media" had exploded into violence, and police tightened security at news organizations in New York and other places.

But by all accounts, Ramos had a specific, longstanding grievance against the paper.

1:23 p.m.

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) — President Donald Trump has offered a statement of support for journalists after a gunman fatally shot five people at the Capital Gazette newspaper in Annapolis.

He said yoday at the White House that "journalists, like all Americans, should be free from the fear of being violently attacked while doing their jobs."

Trump routinely calls the reporters who cover him "fake news" and "liars" and labels them "enemies of the people."

A gunman shot his way into the newsroom of the newspaper on Thursday, leaving five people dead.

Authorities and court records show the suspect had a well-documented history of harassing the paper's journalists.

Trump said he is thinking of the survivors and the families of the "horrific, horrible" murders.

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