Police identify victims of Capital Gazette shooting in Maryland

Police in the US state of Maryland have identified the victims killed in the shooting at the Capital Gazette newspaper building.  

Four journalists and one sales assistant have been killed in the shooting, police confirmed. 

The victims have been named: Rob Hiaassen, columnist and news editor, Gerald Fischman, editorial page editor, Wendi Winters, special publications editor, Rebecca Smith, sales assistant, and John McNamara, staff writer.

The Baltimore Sun, the Capital Gazette's sister newspaper, has released an editorial saying, "As journalists, we have covered more mass shootings than we care to count."

"Today gun violence hit our family, and we are feeling its pain more acutely than we could have imagined  yet it's a pain we know will be repeated in community after community, in shooting after shooting, unless we act. We can accept no more excuses."

Rob Hiassen's brother Carl wrote in a Facebook post: "I am devastated and heartsick to confirm the loss of my wonderful brother Rob."

"He spent his whole gifted career as a journalist, and he believed profoundly in the craft and mission of serving the public's right to know the news." 

"We called him Big Rob because he was so tall, but it was his remarkable heart and humor that made him larger than all of us."

The suspect has been identified by police as Jarrod W. Ramos.
The suspect has been identified by police as Jarrod W. Ramos. Photo credit: Reuters

The suspect has been identified as Jarrod W Ramos, according to the Associated Press, but this hasn't been confirmed by police. He was reportedly apprehended by police and taken into custody Thursday. 

The assault has been labelled by police a "targeted attack" on the newspaper's office. 

US President Donald Trump tweeted to say his "thoughts and prayers" are with the victims and their families.

"Prior to departing Wisconsin, I was briefed on the shooting at Capital Gazette in Annapolis, Maryland," he said.

"My thoughts and prayers are with the victims and their families. Thank you to all of the first responders who are currently on the scene."