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Maryland newspaper shooting suspect indicted by grand jury

ANNAPOLIS, Md. — A grand jury has leveled 23 charges against a man accused of killing five people in a mass shooting at a Maryland newspaper office, a prosecutor announced Friday.

The grand jury indicted Jarrod Ramos, 38, of Laurel, on five counts of first-degree murder in the deaths of Gerald Fischman, Rob Hiaasen, John McNamara, Rebecca Ann Smith and Wendi Winters, according to a news release from Anne Arundel County State’s Attorney Wes Adams. Ramos is also now charged with attempted murder, assault and gun crimes.

The indictment moves from District Court to Circuit Court to progress toward a trial. Ramos is scheduled to make an initial appearance July 30 in Circuit Court, according to online court records.

County police responding to the June 28 attack at the Capital-Gazette in Annapolis arrested Ramos in the newsroom. They said he blocked an exit and then used a shotgun to blast his way through the entrance.

The Capital had written about Ramos pleading guilty to harassing a former high school classmate in 2011, and Ramos unsuccessfully sued the writer and the newspaper’s publisher for defamation.

The new attempted murder charge alleges Ramos tried to kill photographer Paul Gillespie. The Baltimore Sun reports Gillespie said in an interview this week that he believes Ramos fired at him as he fled the newsroom.

“When I ran, I didn’t look back, but I did hear him chase me,” Gillespie told the newspaper. “I did hear a gunshot. I did feel a breeze blow past my right side.”

The grand jury also indicted Ramos on six counts of assault of Gillespie and five other people in the newsroom that day. Additionally, Ramos faces 11 charges of using of a firearm in commission of a crime of violence.

Adams will prosecute the case, along with assistant state’s attorneys Jason Knight and Aaron Meyers, the release said.

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