Capital Gazette intern describes 'chaotic' scene as gunman opened fire

An intern at the newspaper which was targeted by a gunman on Friday (NZ time) says it still feels "surreal".

Anthony Messenger was inside the Capital Gazette's office in Annapolis when a shooter opened fire.

"I think it was so sudden and it's not something that anybody can prepare themselves for," he told NBC's Today.

"Even today it still feels surreal that we all went through that senseless act of violence. It was insane."

Authorities say the suspect in the deadly shooting, Jarrod W Ramos, used a pump-action shotgun in the attack that killed four journalists and a staffer.

A prosecutor says the shooter barricaded the exit door so employees couldn't escape. The suspect entered through the front door and "worked his way through the office".

Messenger told Today that when he and a colleague tried to exit from a back door it was jammed, and that it signalled to him the situation was intentional.

He said, "So Selene San Felice, one of my colleagues, she also ran toward the door. She was the one who actually jingled the handle and that door is normally never locked from the inside out. We have no problems getting out of that door, and for whatever reason that day it was it was jammed."

Messenger also explained how his Twitter account was used by his colleague to seek help amid the gunman's attack, he offered his phone to Ms San Felice to call anyone she needed to call.

In that moment she used his Twitter account to tweet for help.

"This is a testament to her, her self-awareness right in that moment."

He described the shooting saying, "Initially I thought it was fireworks. I heard a pop and I turned and looked over my shoulder toward the front of the room entrance and I saw some faces that looked concerned but I couldn't see any shooter or anything."

Messenger, who has only been an intern at the newspaper for four weeks, says the scene was "chaotic" and that it was "sickening" to have to witness the bodies left by the shooting.

"It's just unfortunate that somebody would come into a place that only reports truthful stories that are fact-based and unleash hell on the office."

APTN / Newshub.