Staff at an Annapolis newspaper reported Thursday that multiple people had been shot by an active shooter. The Baltimore Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) confirmed it was responding to a "shooting incident" at Capital Gazette's offices in Annapolis, Maryland.
Five people were killed with several others "gravely injured" in a workplace shooting in Annapolis, law enforcement officials confirmed in a press conference Thursday. Anne Arundel Police said they had responded to an active shooter at 888 Bestgate Road, a building which houses the Capital Gazette offices. "Active Shooter in Annapolis, Anne Arundel Police tweeted Thursday. "Building evacuated. Officers continuing to search building," the agency added shortly after. Police would not confirm if the shooting had occurred inside the Capital Gazette newsroom as was being reported on social media.
A city spokeswoman later told the Associated Press, one shooter had been taken into custody by law enforcement.
On Twitter, Capital Gazette staff attempted to provide updates to the situation as it unfolded. "A single shooter shot multiple people at my office, some of whom are dead," Capital Gazette reporter Phil Davis said in a series of tweets describing the incident while waiting to be interviewed by police. "Gunman shot through the glass door to the office and opened fire on multiple employees," he continued in a separate tweet. "Can't say much more and don't want to declare anyone dead, but it's bad."
Davis told the Baltimore Sun, which reportedly owns Capital Gazette, that "multiple people had been shot." He described the shooter as "a lone male gunman."
"There is nothing more terrifying than hearing multiple people get shot while you're under your desk and then hear the gunman reload," Davis tweeted.
The city of Annapolis' Office of Emergency Management (OEM) said Thursday that it was monitoring the situation and asked residents to stay clear of the area. "The Westfield #Annapolis Mall is NOT on lock down," the agency said in a tweet noting that at least two highways in the area had been closed in light of the situation. Law enforcement officials were directing those evacuated from 888 Bestgate Road to a relocation point inside the mall. "This is an ONGOING, active incident," OEM said.
According to The Baltimore Sun, local law enforcement officers were stationed at their newsroom in Baltimore, Maryland, shortly after news broke of the active shooter situation at the Capital Gazette office. "Police said there was no threat on the Sun, and that their presence was a precaution," the paper reported.
Multiple media outlets reported that the New York Police Department had stationed officers at all major media outlets headquartered in New York City. According to ABC News, NYPD was taking precautionary steps "out of an abundance of caution." NYPD's Counterterrorism unit said Thursday that it was "closely monitoring" reports of the active shooter incident in Maryland and welcomed tips and information.
President Donald Trump has been briefed about the situation in Annapolis, according to White House deputy Press Secretary Lindsay Walters. "Our thoughts and prayers are with all that are affected," a BuzzFeed writer reported Walters said.
"My thoughts and prayers are with the victims and their families," President Trump later tweeted in reference to the shooting. "Thank you to all of the First Responders who are currently on the scene."
Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan also tweeted Thursday to say that he was "absolutely devastated to learn of this tragedy in Annapolis."
"Praying for those at the scene and for our community," he added.