Sky News:– The prime suspect of a newsroom shooting moved through the office hunting victims after barricading the door, police said.
Jarrod Ramos is being held without bail after five people were killed in the shooting at the Capital Gazette in Annapolis, Maryland on Thursday evening.
Donald Trump said the nation was “shocked” by the shooting – one of the deadliest attacks on journalists in US history – and said all Americans should be free of fear of attack while at work.
Officials described how the gunman blasted his way into the newsroom with a pump-action shotgun that had been legally owned, and tried to “kill as many people as he could kill”.
Maryland state prosecutor Wes Adams said one of the victims was shot while they were trying to escape through the back doors of the office.
Speaking during a hearing, Mr Adams alleged that Ramos “executed a brutal series of attacks on innocent victims”.
He said the suspect had barricaded a back door and “used a tactical approach in hunting down and shooting the innocent victims”.
Mr Adams added: “There were two entrances to the offices in which this attack occurred. The rear door was barricaded. Mr Ramos entered into the front door and worked his way through the offices.
“There was one victim that had attempted to escape through the back door and was shot at that point.
Ramos was arrested at the scene, and reportedly stopped firing when the police came in and hid.
Mr Trump said the attack “shocked the conscience of the nation and filled our hearts with grief”.
“Journalists, like all Americans, should be free of fear of being violently attacked while doing their jobs,” the president added.
He said he pledged “eternal support” from his government to the families of the victims of what he called a “horrible” event.
He said: “My government will not rest until we have done everything in our power to reduce violent crime.”
Police in Annapolis said Ramos used a gun he had purchased legally about a year ago to carry out the shooting.
Police Chief Timothy Altomare said there had been a previous incident between the newspaper and the suspect, when he made threatening comments online to members of the newsroom in 2013.
However, the decision was made by the staff not to press criminal charges as they were concerned it would exacerbate the situation.
Ramos has now been charged with five counts of murder after the shooting. He has appeared in court, and been held without bail, pending a hearing date.
Ramos, 38, appeared via video link and did not speak during his hearing. Mr Altomare said the suspect had been “uncooperative”