A gunman has opened fire at a local newspaper office in Maryland, killing five people and wounding three.
Staff at the Capital Gazette building in Annapolis said he shot through a glass door into the newsroom.
There is nothing more terrifying than hearing multiple people get shot while you’re under your desk and then hear the gunman reload, tweeted reporter Phil Davis.
Police said a suspect was now in custody and was being questioned.
He is reportedly refusing to co-operate with officers and a police source told CBS News that he had damaged his fingertips to prevent himself being identified.
The suspect, who police say is a white male in his 20s, surrendered to officers without a struggle.
He was found to be carrying fake grenades and smoke bombs in a backpack, police said. They said he used a long gun but did not give further details.
The deputy chief of Anne Arundel County Police, William Krampf, said an item we believed to be an explosive device had been found at the premises and destroyed.
He added that more than 170 people had been escorted safely from the building, which houses other businesses.
Mr Davis, the reporter who tweeted following the incident, described the shooting at the newspaper’s office in the city of Annapolis, just east of Washington DC, as being like a warzone.
He said that people were still hiding under their desks when the gunman stopped shooting. I don’t know why. I don’t know why he stopped, he told the Baltimore Sun.
Jimmy DeButts, the editor at the Capital Gazette, which runs several newspapers, tweeted that he was heartbroken following the incident.
Devastated & heartbroken. Numb. Please stop asking for information/interviews. I’m in no position to speak, just know @capgaznews reporters & editors give all they have every day. There are no 40 hour weeks, no big paydays – just a passion for telling stories from our communty.
End of Twitter post by @jd3217
County executive Steve Schuh told a news conference We’ve had a terrible shooting incident here this afternoon.
There are several people who have died from this incident.
Federal agencies, including the FBI and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, were involved in responding to the shooting.
The New York City Police Department (NYPD) later said it had deployed counterterrorism teams to media organisations in and around New York City as a precaution.
Maryland governor Larry Hogan said on Twitter he was absolutely devastated and was in contact with authorities.
Gunman shot through the glass door to the office and opened fire on multiple employees. Can’t say much more and don’t want to declare anyone dead, but it’s bad.
End of Twitter post by @PhilDavis_CG
There is nothing more terrifying than hearing multiple people get shot while you’re under your desk and then hear the gunman reload
End of Twitter post 2 by @PhilDavis_CG
Democratic senator Chris Van Hollen responded to Mr Davis on Twitter, saying journalists shouldn’t have to fend off bullets in the newsroom.
Phil, I can’t imagine what you and the entire Capital Gazette team are going through right now. Journalists shouldn’t have to fend off bullets in the newsroom while doing their jobs—this is not normal. Stay strong. https//t.co/hchUMIaMN1
End of Twitter post by @ChrisVanHollen
President Donald Trump was briefed on the shooting. He tweeted that his thoughts and prayers were with the victims and their families.
The Capital is a daily newspaper and digital news site that is part of Capital Gazette Communications.
Capital Gazette Communications publishes several local papers and is owned by the Baltimore Sun Media Group.
News Source BBCNews