BALTIMORE (WJZ) — More than three years after a gunman went on a shooting rampage at the Capital Gazette newsroom in Annapolis, shooter Jarrod Ramos was sentenced Tuesday to life in prison. Below is a timeline chronicling the events that unfolded on June 28, 2018, and the court proceedings that resulted from the mass shooting.
Timeline of Events
June 28, 2018: A gunman enters the Capital Gazette offices with a “long gun,” shoots through a glass door and fires at multiple employees. Five staffers at the The Capital are killed in the attack: editorial page editor Gerald Fischman, 61; assistant editor Rob Hiaasen, 59; sports reporter John McNamara, 56; sales assistant Rebecca Smith, 34; and community correspondent Wendi Winters, 65.READ MORE: Investigation Ongoing Into Vacant Home Fire That Killed 3 Baltimore Firefighters
Several other employees were injured in the shooting.
The suspect, later identified as Jarrod Ramos, was arrested at the scene, where he was found with fake grenades and was carrying smoke bombs or flashbangs in his backpack. Ramos was charged with five counts of first-degree murder. A judge ordered Ramos be held without bail.
July 20, 2018: Anne Arundel County prosecutors files a 23-count indictment against Ramos.
Ramos had a long-standing dispute with the paper after it published a story about his harassment of a former classmate. He also had a history of making threats.
July 21, 2018: Students from a Maryland school where a girl was killed in a shooting and Capital reporter Selene San Felice rally outside the Maryland State House to call for stronger gun control measures.
July 28, 2018: On the one-month anniversary of the shooting the city holds “Annapolis Rising: A Benefit for The Capital Gazette and Free Press,” featuring live music and guest speakers from the journalism world. Proceeds go to a fund established for the victims and survivors, as well as journalism scholarships.
July 30, 2018: Attorneys for Ramos enter a not guilty plea and contend any identification of their client at trial will be tainted due to “impermissible” identification procedures used by police.
Aug. 20, 2018: Ramos appears in court and a trial is scheduled for Jan. 15, 2019.
Nov. 16, 2018: The trial is postponed until June 2019 as the judge allows the defense to explore a plea of not criminally responsible.
Dec. 11, 2018: TIME Magazine releases it’s 2018 ‘Person of the Year’ award to journalists who were either imprisoned or killed for their work around the world, including Fischman, Hiaasen, McNamara, Smith and Winters. The magazine calls it “The Guardians and the War on Truth.” Included in the list are the five victims of the Capital Gazette shooting in Annapolis.
Dec. 17, 2018: In response to a cry of “FAKE NEWS – THE ENEMY OF THE PEOPLE!” from then-President Donald Trump, Capital photographer Joshua McKerrow tweets, “Wendi was no ones enemy” and shares details about community-focused reporting.
March 29, 2019: June 28 is officially declared Freedom of the Press Day in Maryland in honor of the five Capital Gazette victims.
April 16, 2019: The Capital Gazette wins a special Pulitzer Prize citation for its coverage and courage in the face of a massacre in its newsroom.
Before the announcement, newspaper employees gathered in their newsroom to remember the five staffers who were killed.
April 29, 2019: Lawyers for Ramos file a plea of guilty but not criminally responsible by reason of insanity.
June 3, 2019: Ramos makes another appearance in court, during which prosecutors say a mental evaluation of the accused shooter is “ongoing.” Jury selection is scheduled for Oct. 30.
That same day, the Newseum in Washington, D.C. pays tribute to the Capital Gazette journalists killed during the shooting rampage by etching their names into a memorial wall.
June 28, 2019: On the one-year anniversary of the shooting, The Capital releases a special edition describing how the survivors have coped with the trauma and used each other to heal and try to move forward. Community members gather to dedicate a memorial garden to the five victims at Acton Cove Park.
Oct. 21, 2019: During a pretrial hearing, Judge Laura Ripken says a health department evaluation found that Ramos is legally sane.READ MORE: Businesses Owners On The Block Protest Proposal To Close Establishments On The Street By 10 P.M.
Nov. 19, 2019: Andrea Chamblee, John McNamara’s wife of 33 years, holds an event with family and friends to celebrate the release of “The Capital of Basketball,” a book of her husband’s writings on high school hoops.
Jan. 7, 2020: Judge Ripken unseals some documents in the case but orders others still be kept from public view after the newspaper’s attorney demanded more transparency in the case.
Many of the documents that remain under seal include reports about Ramos’ mental health.
Feb. 10, 2020: Ramos’ trial is delayed until June.
July 7, 2020: Due to the coronavirus pandemic, Ramos’ trial is again delayed. The Anne Arundel County State’s Attorney’s Office says the new trial dates for Jarrod Ramos are Dec. 7 through 18, with jury selection happening on Dec. 1 through 3.
Aug. 6, 2020: Ramos’ attorneys argue his Fourth, Fifth and Sixth Amendment rights were violated when a doctor hired by the state went about investigating him for a mental health evaluation, saying his jail cell was searched without his or his attorneys’ consent.
Aug. 12, 2020: The Capital Gazette offices are permanently closed by Tribune Publishing due to COVID-19, but the paper’s staff continues working remotely and is provided work space at The Baltimore Sun.
Sept. 7, 2020: Capital Gazette reporters protest Tribune’s decision, saying it pulls them away from the communities they cover.
Dec. 1, 2020: Ramos’ trial is delayed another time due to a rise in COVID-19 cases.
Dec. 3, 2010: Congress passes a bill to authorize the Fallen Journalists Memorial Foundation to establish a memorial in D.C. “Too many, including five innocent souls lost in the shooting at the Capital Gazette in Annapolis, gave everything they had in defense of democracy,” says Maryland Sen. Ben Cardin, one of the bill’s co-sponsors. “This new memorial will honor the lives of those who died reporting the news and supporting the media on behalf of the American people. It will be a steadfast symbol of their sacrifice and the fragility of our democracy.”
Dec. 17, 2020: Wendi Winters posthumously receives the Carnegie Medal, the highest honor for civilian heroism. A news release announcing her award credited Winters with charging at Ramos with recycling and garbage bins, telling him to stop.
Dec. 23, 2020: President Donald Trump signs the legislation to create a memorial in the nation’s capital remembering fallen journalists.
April 13, 2021: Ramos appears in court as attorneys sort out how the trial will look. The case is scheduled to begin in June.
June 28, 2021: On the three-year anniversary of the shooting, the city of Annapolis unveils a memorial called the “Guardians of the First Amendment,” featuring five pillars in honor of Gerald Fischman, Rob Hiaasen, John McNamara, Rebecca Smith and Wendi Winters.
June 29, 2021: The trial begins with opening statements. Prosecutors say the defendant methodically planned the attack against the paper for two years. Defense attorneys say his sister will testify that Ramos lived an isolated life.
July 14, 2021: Following days of testimony about the shooting and the prosecution’s claim that Ramos is a narcissist who meticulously plotted his attack and a defense witness arguing he may be on the autism spectrum, the attorneys for both sides rest their case.
July 15, 2021: A jury of eight men and four women unanimously finds Ramos was criminally responsible for the 2018 shooting.
July 19, 2021: The families of the five Capital Gazette shooting victims sue The Baltimore Sun and its parent company, Tribune Publishing, for the alleged security lapses.
July 21, 2021: Sentencing for Ramos is scheduled for Sept. 28. “He’s facing never getting out of prison ever,” Anne Arundel County’s State’s Attorney Anne Colt Leitess says. “It makes me feel good, I think that the community needs to be protected from the defendant.”
Aug. 3, 2021: In a letter to shooting survivor Rachael Pacella, President Joe Biden honors the five victims. “Our Nation will never forget them or the survivors of this tragedy,” Biden wrote. “Their loved ones remain in my prayers as they keep alive the memories of those they lost.”MORE NEWS: Shooting At Towson Student-Centered Apartment Building Under Investigation
Sept. 28, 2021: Ramos is sentenced to more than five life terms in prison without the possibility of parole, another life sentence and an additional 345 years in prison.