Police say five people were killed and several others “gravely injured” in a shooting at a newspaper’s offices in Annapolis, Md., on Thursday.
Anne Arundel County Acting Police Chief William Krampf confirmed the deaths at a news conference.
A reporter at the Capital Gazette tweeted earlier that a single gunman fired into the newsroom and shot multiple employees. Phil Davis, who covers courts and crime for the newspaper, wrote that the shooter fired through a glass door into the office.
“A single shooter shot multiple people at my office, some of whom are dead,” he tweeted.
“There is nothing more terrifying than hearing multiple people get shot while you’re under your desk and then hear the gunman reload,” he added.
In an interview with the Capital Gazettte’s online site, Davis said it “was like a war zone” inside the offices — a situation that would be “hard to describe for a while.”
“I’m a police reporter. I write about this stuff — not necessarily to this extent, but shootings and death — all the time,” he said.
“But as much as I’m going to try to articulate how traumatizing it is to be hiding under your desk, you don’t know until you’re there and you feel helpless.”
Davis told the paper he and others were still hiding under their desks when the shooter stopped firing. “I don’t know why. I don’t know why he stopped,” he said.
At least two of the victims were taken to a nearby hospital, according to a spokesperson at the Anne Arundel Medical Center.
Police said earlier they were searching the building.
On TV reports, people could be seen leaving the building with their hands up, as police officers urged them to depart through a parking lot and officers converged on the building.
A gas station employee near the shooting scene described a flood of police activity in the area as he sat tight inside his still-open workplace.
In a phone interview, Carlos Wallace, who works just down the street from the newspaper’s offices, estimated that “dozens of dozens” of law enforcement vehicles and ambulances had raced to the scene with sirens blaring.
“The road is blocked off real good. It’s like dozens of dozens of emergency vehicles, police cars of all types, explosive vehicles, battering ram vehicles, all kinds of stuff,” Wallace said at about 3:50 p.m. ET Thursday.
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives said earlier was responding to the shooting.
Prior to departing Wisconsin, I was briefed on the shooting at Capital Gazette in Annapolis, Maryland. 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.
The Capital Gazette and other papers including the Maryland Gazette are owned by the Baltimore Sun Media Group.
Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan issued a statement saying he was “absolutely devastated” by the shooting.
Officials said U.S. President Donald Trump had been briefed on it. White House spokesperson Lindsay Waters told reporters, “Our thoughts and prayers are with all that are affected.”