On Thursday afternoon, a thirty-eight-year-old man named Jarrod Ramos killed five people at the Capital Gazette newspaper, in Annapolis, Maryland. He fired a gun into the newsroom, then stopped, reloaded—members of the staff now cowering under their desks—and then started firing again. After a mass shooting, there is usually both sadness and a sense of dread, as the country waits to discover the shooter’s identity and the nature of his grievance. But in this case the staff of the Capital Gazette already knew all about Ramos. He had been the subject of a story in the paper in 2011 that detailed how he had stalked a high-school classmate on Facebook. Ever since, he had mounted a relentless campaign of harassment and menace against the paper and its editors.
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