National

Woman stalked by Capital Gazette shooter: I just 'knew' it was him before police did

A makeshift memorial is seen at the scene outside the office building housing The Capital Gazette newspaper in Annapolis, Md., Sunday, July 1, 2018. Prosecutors say 38-year-old Jarrod W. Ramos opened fire Thursday in the Capital Gazette newsroom killing five journalist. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)
A makeshift memorial is seen at the scene outside the office building housing The Capital Gazette newspaper in Annapolis, Md., Sunday, July 1, 2018. Prosecutors say 38-year-old Jarrod W. Ramos opened fire Thursday in the Capital Gazette newsroom killing five journalist. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)

As news broke of a shooting at a small newsroom in Annapolis, the woman who had been harassed by the alleged gunman said she "knew" it was him even as police struggled to identify him.

"As soon as they said it happened at The Capital newspaper and they couldn't identify their suspect, I picked up the phone and said, 'I know who your suspect is,'" she said in an interview on "TODAY". "I knew if he was to do anything on a mass shooting level, it was going to target The Capital."

Ramos pleaded guilty to criminal harassment in 2011 after the woman, who asked to only be identified as "Lori," said he harassed her for years online and eventually told her to kill herself, according to The Capital. A few days after his conviction, the newspaper published a story about the charges against Ramos, who in turn sued The Capital in 2012 for defamation.

A judge threw out that lawsuit in 2015, ruling in favor of The Capital.

"A lawyer would almost certainly have told him not to proceed with this case," the court wrote in the opinion. "It reveals a fundamental failure to understand what defamation law is and, more particularly, what defamation law is not."

Ramos barged into The Capital newsroom on June 28, shattering the glass front door with a shotgun and then slaying five staffers. Rob Hiaasen, Wendi Winters, Gerald Fischman, Rebecca Smith and John McNamara were killed in the shooting.

The names and portraits of the victims from the shooting in the newsroom of the Capital Gazette in Annapolis, Md., on Thursday, June 28, 2018.

There were a total of eleven people in the Capital Gazette newsroom as shots rang out. Ramos, who police at first struggled to identify in the immediate aftermath of the carnage, faces five charges of first-degree murder.

Police say he was there to kill "as many people as possible" — and he jammed the newsroom's backdoor so people couldn't escape.

Brennan McCarthy, the lawyer for the woman, described him as "obsessively angry" about The Capital's story.

"He was as angry an individual as I have ever seen," McCarthy told CBS News. "She lost her job because of this individual….He is malevolent. He forwarded a letter to her employer, basically stating that she was bipolar and a drunkard which is ridiculous."

Lori told the "TODAY" show that she was "tormented and traumatized and terrorized" by Ramos' harassment.

"It has, I think, changed the fiber of my being,” she said.

The harassment was so bad, she added, that she always checked her front door and windows when she returned home to make sure Ramos wasn't hiding inside.

"I was afraid he could show up at any point, any place," she said on TV, "and kill me."

Aerial footage shows police on scene and people evacuating after a gunman opened fire at the Capital Gazette offices in Annapolis, Md.

  Comments