NORFOLK, Va. – A man accused of a deadly shooting of five people at a Maryland newsroom is supposed to mail a letter on the day of the rampage to Virginia to a journalist that he was harassed for years and unsuccessfully sued the police and the journalist said Thursday.
The letter came Thursday in The Virginian-Pilot newspaper in Norfolk. It was the fourth such letter that the police believe that the suspect Jarrod Ramos sent on the day of the last week, the shooting in the Capital Gazette in Annapolis.
The letter was addressed to Eric Hartley, editor of The Virginian-Pilot who once worked as a columnist and reporter at The Capital, Hartley told The Associated Press in an e-mail.
Hartley said the pink greeting-card-style envelope was stamped June 28, the day of the shooting. The return address was listed as “Anonymous Source.”
Hartley said the police opened the package safely in a lab and told him that it contained a CD and a greeting card. The map of the pre-printed message along the lines of “Smile, you’re on camera. It is your big day, and all eyes are on you,” said Hartley.
Hartley said that the police will not reveal what exactly is on the CD, but it said that there was nothing that was threatening.
But other letters of Ramos, according to the police.
They came Monday for a lawyer who had worked for the Annapolis newspaper declared that Ramos was the campaign “with the objective of killing every person who is present,” according to a copy of the letter provided to the AP by a former publisher Tom Marquardt.
On Tuesday, prosecutor Jason Knight asked the jail housing Ramos run “certified copies of all incoming or outgoing e-mail (front/back with envelope delivered every two weeks)” for him.
Daniel Hudson, a spokesman for Norfolk police, said the letter to Hartley is handed over to the FBI.
Christina pullen, an FBI spokeswoman, referred questions to the Maryland Anne Arundel County police, who is leading the investigation. They did not return a call seeking comment.
The police said that they found Ramos hiding under a desk after the attack on The Capital, and in prison him on five counts of first-degree murder.
Ramos has a well documented history of intimidating paper journalists.
Ramos filed an unsuccessful lawsuit against the paper in 2012, with the assertion that he was defamed in an article about his conviction in a criminal harassment case in 2011.
The newspaper published a story describing allegations by a woman who said Ramos harassed her online for months.
The libel suit was thrown out as unfounded, and Ramos often railed against the current and former Capital of the staff in the profanity-laced tweets.
Associated Press reporters David McFadden in Baltimore and Brian Witte in Annapolis contributed to this report.