Inside the Maryland newspaper office where a gunman opened fire Thursday and killed at least five people and “gravely” injured several others, reporter Phil Davis dove for cover.
“There is nothing more terrifying than hearing multiple people get shot while you’re under your desk and then hear the gunman reload,” Davis, a crime reporter for The Capital Gazette in Annapolis, Maryland, tweeted afterward from a point of safety.
Authorities say a single gunman was taken into custody after opening fire in the newsroom. The shooter, who was identified only as a white male, did not exchange gunfire with authorities.
“Gunman shot through the glass door to the office and opened fire on multiple employees,” Davis tweeted before police confirmed the initial toll of those killed, with an unidentified number of persons injured. “Can’t say much more and don’t want to declare anyone dead, but it’s bad.”
In a later interview posted on the newspaper’s website, Davis said the scene inside the newspaper’s office “was like a war zone.”
“I’m a police reporter. I write about this stuff — not necessarily to this extent, but shootings and death — all the time,” he said. “But as much as I’m going to try to articulate how traumatizing it is to be hiding under your desk, you don’t know until you’re there and you feel helpless.”
Anne Arundel County Police spokesman Lt. Ryan Frashure said that officers were on the scene “very, very quickly, I think it was around 60 seconds or a minute-and-a-half” after receiving the call about the active shooter.
Davis said that when the shooter stopped firing, he and others still were hiding under their desks.
“I don’t know why. I don’t know why he stopped,” Davis said, who added that police surrounded the shooter.
The lone suspect is in custody, authorities said, but he is not cooperating, has refused to identify himself and has no identification on him.
Police were called at about 3:15 p.m.. They responded within 60 to 90 seconds and confronted the suspect, authorities said, though it was not clear if they exchanged gunfire with them.