Madness in Annapolis

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Another shooting, this time in Annapolis, Maryland:

A gunman blasted his way into the Capital Gazette newsroom in Annapolis with a shotgun Thursday afternoon, killing five people, authorities said.

Journalists dived under their desks and pleaded for help on social media. One reporter described the scene as a “war zone.” A photographer said he jumped over a dead colleague and fled for his life.

The guy who did it? A nut with a grudge against the paper:

Police took a suspect into custody soon after the shootings. He was identified as Jarrod W. Ramos, a 38-year-old Laurel man with a long-standing grudge against the paper.

Ramos was charged with five counts of first-degree murder, according to online court records. He did not have an attorney listed; a bail review hearing is scheduled for 10:30 a.m. Friday in Annapolis.

What was the issue?

Ramos’ dispute with the Capital Gazette began in July 2011 when a columnist wrote about a criminal harassment case against him. He brought a defamation suit against the columnist and the organization’s editor and publisher. A court ruled in the Capital Gazette’s favor, and an appeals court upheld the ruling.

Neither the columnist, Eric Hartley, nor the editor and publisher, Thomas Marquardt, are still employed by the Capital Gazette. They were not present during the shootings.

The article in question was called "Jarrod Wants to Be Your Friend" and Slate has an excerpt:

“’I just thought I was being friendly,’ [the woman] said… That sparked months of emails in which Ramos alternately asked for help, called her vulgar names and told her to kill herself. He emailed her company and tried to get her fired.

But when it seemed to me that it was turning into something that gave me a bad feeling in the pit of my stomach, that he seems to think there’s some sort of relationship here that does not exist … “I tried to slowly back away from it, and he just started getting angry and vulgar to the point I had to tell him to stop,” she told the judge.

“And he was not OK with that. He would send me things and basically tell me, ‘You’re going to need restraining order now.’ ‘You can’t make me stop. I know all these things about you.’ “I’m going to tell everyone about your life.” “An email in April 2010 said, ‘Have another drink and go hang yourself, you cowardly little lush. Don’t contact you again? I don’t give a (expletive). (Expletive) you.

Not the sort of friend anyone would want. In other words, this guy was operating in his own world, independent of anything otherwise happening around him. There won't be any place for the usual ghouls who enjoy using mass murder to push their agendas on this story. Then again, who knows?