At least five people shot dead after gunman storms US newsroom

At least five people have been shot dead a number of others gravely injured after a gunman stormed a newsroom in the US state of Maryland.

A single gunman reportedly entered the building that houses the Capital Gazette and opened fire, in what is believed to be one of the deadliest attacks on journalists in US history.

Authorities said they also found what they believed to be an explosive device.

Phil Davis, a reporter who covers courts and crime for the paper, tweeted that the gunman shot out the glass door to the office and fired into the newsroom, sending people scrambling for cover under desks.

Several people have been shot dead after a shooting at US newsroom. Source: AP

He added: “There is nothing more terrifying than hearing multiple people get shot while you’re under your desk and then hear the gunman reload”.

The gunman, who officials said was not carrying identification, is believed to have used a shotgun, according to a US official who was briefed on the investigation but not authorised to discuss it publicly and spoke on condition of anonymity.

The official said the gunman, who has since been taken into custody was not cooperating with investigators.

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.

Lt. Ryan Frashure, another spokesman for Anne Arundel County police, said on WJLA that officers are “doing everything to get people out safe.” He said they must look for other dangers, such as bombs and other shooters.

The Capital and newspapers including the Maryland Gazette are owned by the Baltimore Sun Media Group.

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan issued a statement saying he was “absolutely devastated” at the tragedy.

Officials said President Donald Trump had been briefed on it. White House spokeswoman Lindsay Waters told reporters, “our thoughts and prayers are with all that are affected.”