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Annapolis shooting suspect damaged his finger tips to thwart identification, source says

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Updated Jun 28, 2018 9:28 PM EDT

The suspect accused of killing five people in a shooting at a Maryland newspaper had damaged the tips of his fingers in an apparent attempt to thwart efforts by police to identify him by his fingerprints, a law enforcement officials tells CBS News. 

A law enforcement official tells CBS News the suspect has been identified as Jarrod Ramos, 38, of Laurel, Maryland. Police say Ramos opened fire Thursday afternoon at the offices of the Capital Gazette in Annapolis, killing five and injuring others.

“This was a targeted attack on The Capital Gazette,” Anne Arundel County acting police chief Bill Krampf said at a Thursday night press briefing.

Ramos was taken into custody at the scene and is not cooperating with investigators, police said. CBS News’ Jeff Pegues reports that Ramos was caught hiding under a desk.

The gunman did not have identification on his person. He’s described as having long hair. A law enforcement source says authorities are using other means of identifying him, including facial recognition technology to search databases of passports and driver’s licenses.

A law enforcement source said he carried smoke bombs or flash bangs in his backpack. Police said he used a “long gun” in the shooting, which a source said was a shotgun.

CBS News has also learned the gunman opened fire through the glass door into the newsroom. Eyewitness told authorities the shots sent reporters and other employees under desks and other hiding places.

Pegues reports that investigators will be trying determine the suspect’s motive. They will try to recover any of Ramos’ electronic devices and see if he has any social media accounts.

Police said Thursday night that Ramos did make threats through social media, but investigators are looking into that.

In addition, investigators will try to determine if the suspect had been in to the newspaper office before. A source familiar with investigations like the one Thursday says the speed of the shooting suggest there was some familiarity. They will look into how he was able to get into the building.

Investigators have secured the suspect’s home and are in the process of preparing search warrants.

Maryland police officers patrol the area after multiple people were shot at The Capital newspaper in Annapolis, Md., Thursday, June 28, 2018.

AP

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