Gunman wanted kill everyone in US newsroom

By DAVID McFADDEN
Police say Maryland newspaper gunman sent three letters on the day of the attack

A man charged with gunning down five people at a Maryland newspaper sent three letters on the day of the attack, police said, including one that said he was on his way to the Capital Gazette newsroom with the aim "of killing every person present."

Sergeant Jacklyn Davis, a spokeswoman for Anne Arundel County police, said the letters were received Monday. They were mailed to an attorney for The Capital newspaper, a retired judge of the Maryland Court of Special Appeals and a Baltimore judge.

The letter Jarrod Ramos sent to the Annapolis newspaper's Baltimore-based lawyer was written to resemble a legal motion for reconsideration of his unsuccessful 2012 defamation lawsuit against the paper, a columnist and then-publisher Tom Marquardt.

Marquardt shared a copy of the letter with The Associated Press.

"If this is how the Maryland Judiciary operates, the law now means nothing," Ramos wrote. He quoted a description of the purpose of a defamation suit, saying it was intended for a defamed person to "resort to the courts for relief instead of wreaking his own vengeance."

"'That' is how your judiciary operates, you were too cowardly to confront those lies, and this is your receipt," Ramos wrote.

He signed it under the chilling statement: "I told you so." Below that, he wrote that he was going to the newspaper's office "with the objective of killing every person present."

In a letter attached to what appeared to be the faux court filing, he also directly addressed retired special appeals court Judge Charles Moylan, who ruled against Ramos in his defamation case. Ramos sued the paper after pleading guilty to harassing a high school classmate.

"Welcome, Mr. Moylan, to your unexpected legacy: YOU should have died," he wrote. He signed it: "Friends forever, Jarrod W. Ramos."

He also sent a document to Maryland's highest court, and it has been sealed at the request of prosecutors.

Ramos, 38, has a well-documented history of harassing the paper's journalists. The defamation suit was thrown out as groundless, and he often railed against current and former Capital staff in profanity-laced tweets. Police found him hiding under a desk after Thursday's attack and jailed him on five counts of first-degree murder.

At a memorial service Monday night for one of those killed, editor Rob Hiassen, Marquardt said he once slept with a baseball bat by his bed because he was so worried about Ramos. He also said that they "stepped up security" at the newspaper years ago, and posted Ramos's photo around the office. "But then he went dormant for about two years and we thought the problem has been solved. Apparently, it was just building up steam," he said.