A Jewish journalist was among one of five killed in a mass shooting in America, after a suspect armed with smoke grenades and a shotgun attacked a newspaper.
Killing five before police stormed the building and arrested him, a suspect named as Jarrod W Ramos reportedly went on shotgun rampage at The Capital Gazette, in Maryland’s capital, following social media threats directed at the paper.
Among the victims was journalists and a staffer, including editorial page editor Gerald Fischman, who is reportedly Jewish.
Other fatalities included special publications editor Wendi Winters; writer John McNamara, sales assistant Rebecca Smith, and veteran journalist and columnist Rob Hiaasen, 59, brother of novelist Carl Hiaasen.
Fischman, who worked on the paper since 1992, was known for his annual editorial on Christmas, despite the fact that he was Jewish.
At the time of his death, he was the Gazette’s editorial page editor. Colleagues described him as humorous, extremely knowledgeable, polite and a committed professional.
The Sun also said that he married late in life, to a Mongolian opera singer he had met online. At an awards event shortly after he wed — Fischman won many prizes for his work — he was asked him how he met his wife. “I typed ‘Mongolian opera singer’ into a dating site,” he replied.
Authorities said a gunman entered the building in a targeted attack and “looked for his victims”.
He had smoke grenades and fired a shotgun at his victims, according to Anne Arundel County acting police chief William Krampf.
“This person was prepared today to come in, this person was prepared to shoot people. His intent was to cause harm,” Mr Krampf said.
Carl Hiaasen said he was “devastated and heartsick” at the loss of his brother, “one of the most gentle and funny people I’ve ever known.”
Mr Krampf said the gunman was a Maryland resident and search warrants were being sought for his home.
About 170 people in all were evacuated from the building as a multitude of police cars and other emergency vehicles converged on the scene. People could be seen leaving the building with their hands up.