Congressional Democrats and gun control groups wasted no time Thursday denouncing the nation’s gun laws after a shooter killed five in a Maryland newsroom.
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, a California Democrat, tweeted her disappointment within an hour of reports of the shooting circulating across the news.
“Praying for everyone injured & the families of those lost in today’s shooting at the Capital Gazette in Annapolis, Maryland,” she said. “Congress has a responsibility to take action to prevent the tragedy of gun violence. Every day it fails to do so is a stain on our country.”
The Anne Arundel Police Department confirmed the attack just before 3 p.m. at The Capital Gazette in Annapolis. Those dead include journalist and columnist Rob Hiaasen; editorial page editor Gerald Fischman; special publications editor Wendi Winters; writer John McNamara, and sales assistant Rebecca Smith.
Officers declined to identify the suspect taken into custody at the scene, citing the ongoing investigation. The Associated Press and other news outlets have identified the man as 33-year-old Jarrod W. Ramos. A motive remains unclear at this time, though Acting Police William Krampf confirmed the gunman to be a Maryland resident who possibly targeted his victims.
“This person was prepared today to come in, this person was prepared to shoot people. His intent was to cause harm,” he said during a news conference Thursday.
The New York City Police Department deployed counterterrorism teams to media outlets across the city as a measure of extreme caution, officials said via social media.
Kris Brown and Avery Gardiner, co-presidents of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, released a joint statement Thursday expressing disgust over the incident, calling it “yet another day where more souls join the ledger.”
“Yet another day where men and women who were simply trying to do their job were terrorized, hiding under desks in fear for their lives,” Brown and Gardiner said. “We can’t allow this to go on any longer. We can’t allow America’s epidemic of gun violence to continue. We must organize, we must fight, we must vote, we must stand together and say enough.”
Former Arizona Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords chastised lawmakers for ignoring this “uniquely American crisis.”
“Bump stocks are still legal. Background checks are still not mandatory for all gun sales. Americans are demanding that their lawmakers pass effective laws that can protect our communities and stop dangerous people from accessing guns, but this Congress refuses to listen,” she said. “We should be outraged. And we should be making plans to hold them accountable.”