Hundreds of people have gathered in the shadow of the Maryland State House for a candlelight march in memory of five slain newspaper employees.
The mood was somber Friday as Capital Gazette reporter Phil Davis read aloud the names of his five slain co-workers before those gathers began marching through downtown Annapolis.
The former editor of the Maryland newspaper where the five were killed says he became increasingly alarmed five years ago when the suspect in the slayings began targeting him and others at the newspaper with angry messages on social media.
People walk in silence during a vigil in response to a shooting in the Capital Gazette newsroom, Friday, June 29, 2018
Tom Marquardt said he called police about Jarrod Ramos in 2013, but they said the messages were not clear-cut threats and that there was nothing they could do.
Marquardt said he talked with the newspaper’s lawyers about seeking a restraining order against Ramos, but decided against it because he and others thought it could provoke Ramos to do something worse.
‘We decided to take the course of laying low,’ he said.
For more than two years, Ramos ‘went silent,’ Marquardt said.
‘This led us to believe that he had moved on, but for whatever reason, he decided to resurrect his issue with The Capital yesterday,’ Marquardt said. ‘We don’t know why.’
In a separate instance, Ramos had been flagged up to police as ‘the next mass shooter’ by a woman he obsessively stalked – and had a vendetta against the publication because they exposed his perverted campaign of harassment.
The five victims are pictured above left to right, top to bottom Assistant editor Robert Hiaasen, editorial page editor Gerald Fischman, special publications editor Wendi Winters, writer John McNamara and sales assistant Rebecca Smith
People gather for a candlelight vigil across the street from where five journalists were slain in their newsroom in Annapolis, Md
A memorial for Capital Gazette sports writer John McNamara is displayed at a seat in the press box before a baseball game between the Baltimore Orioles and the Los Angeles Angels
Capital Gazette reporters Pat Furgurson, center, and Chase Cook hug at a makeshift office in a parking garage of a mall in Annapolis, Md
Tom Marquardt said he called police about Jarrod Ramos in 2013, but they said the messages were not clear-cut threats
Ramos’ harassment of the woman, one of his former high school classmates, had been the subject of a 2011 article in the Capital Gazette, which would later see him sue the newspaper.
After the unsuccessful lawsuit, and years of posting threats against the newspaper and its staff on social media, the 38-year-old opened fire in their newsroom on Thursday afternoon.
Charged Jarrod W. Ramos, pictured in a 2013 mugshot, has been charged with five counts of first-degree murder
Ramos, 38, who is charged with five counts of first-degree murder, sat in silence during his ten minute hearing, via video link, at the Anne Arundel District Court in Maryland Friday where he was remanded in custody.
Wes Adams, a prosecutor for Anne Arundel County, had told the judge that Ramos had carried out a ‘coordinated attack’ to ensure maximum casualties.
Ramos’ initial stalking of his former classmate had begun with a Facebook message of thanks for being ‘the only person ever to say hello or be nice to him in school’, and escalated into a harassment campaign which saw her forced to change her name and leave the state.
The woman told a WBAL TV reporter that she had become so frightened of Ramos that she had to move three times and now sleeps with a gun, adding that he is a ‘f***ing nut job’.
On Friday, Melissa Wilson and her husband, Benjamin Wilson, brought their children to the vigil.
Melissa Wilson’s employer has offices in the same building as the newspaper and has co-workers who were there when the gunman opened fire.
She said many Annapolis residents have a ‘one degree of separation’ connection with at least one of the five paper employees who were fatally shot Thursday.
‘It’s not something you can ignore when it’s in your backyard,’ she said.
In a separate instance, Ramos had been flagged up to police as ‘the next mass shooter’ by a woman he obsessively stalked
Flowers book notes and a newspaper are left in a makeshift memorial at the scene were five journalist were shot at their newspaper office
Kathaleen Novick place flowers at makeshift memorial in the scene were five journalist were shot at their newspaper office
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