(Guyana Guardian) – A man who was upset with a Maryland Newspaper, after the publication had published several negative articles about him a few years back, barged into the newsroom of the publication and blasted his way until his machine gun was empty, leaving five news reporters dead, and two others injured.
The executed journalists have been identified as, Robert Hiaasen, Wendi Winters, Rebecca Smith, Gerald Fischman and John McNamara.
They all died on the spot.
According to the Florida Morning Post, the incident occurred on Thursday evening at The Capital Gazette newspaper, and have poured an air of grieve over the US State of Maryland throughout the entire weekend.
It is understood that the gunman, Jarrod Ramos, had previously sued the newspaper for defamation after a Columnist at the publication had carried a story about his guilty plea to criminal harassment.
Two other follow-up stories were carried by the newspaper as it relates to charges that were laid against Ramos, who subsequently won his cases.
As a result of the articles, Ramos sued the newspaper and lost.
However, police say that he continued to maintain a grudge against the publication, as was evident in his many tweets criticizing the publication and many of its articles.
But after losing a string of lawsuits against the newspaper, Ramos must have cooked up a plan to slaughter its employees using a high caliber weapon.
He was subsequently arrested by State Police who swarmed to the location and averted a stand-off.
At a subsequent news conference, Deputy Police Chief, William Krampf from the Anne Arundel County Sheriff Office, said, “This was a targeted attack on the Capital Gazette. This person was prepared today to come in. He was prepared to shoot people. His intent was to cause harm.” He further added, “Two people suffered superficial wounds, possibly from broken glass.”
The Maryland shooting incident has since brought back painful reminders of a similar incident in Guyana, when gunmen attacked the privately owned Kaieteur News on 8 August 2006, executing five pressmen in the process.
The Kaieteur News pressmen killing is now believed to be the largest group execution of media workers in the Caribbean and one of largest in the Americas.
The publication has been a stark critic of the then PPP/C government and had exposed a number of corrupt incidents within the public and private sector.
It is believed that the Kaieteur News’s exposure of powerful people and continued campaign against corruption had resulted in the attack against the newspaper.
In June 2016, ten years after the pressmen slaying, a botched grenade was thrown at the Kaieteur News publisher’s SUV, in what was seen as an execution attempt. But the Publisher, Glen Lall, was not in the vehicle at the time.
Deadly attacks against media workers and media operators worldwide have been a growing problem, with the number of attacks doubling in the past five years alone.
(The Publisher, Editors, and staff of the Guyana Guardian sympathizes with the publisher, colleagues, friends and the families of those that were killed at The Capital Gazette Newspaper)