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Free Press today expressed dismay and offered condolences to the families and colleagues of the victims in a shooting at the offices of the Capital Gazette newsroom in Annapolis, Maryland.

On Thursday afternoon, an individual shot and killed five people at the newspaper, including four journalists and one staff member. Two others were wounded in the attack. The man arrested and charged with murder in the shooting had “a longstanding grudge against the paper,” according to The Baltimore Sun.

Threats and assaults against journalists in the United States have risen since President Donald Trump and his administration began attacking news outlets, railing against “fake news” and calling the media “an enemy of the American people.”

Free Press CEO and President Craig Aaron made the following statement:

“We send our deepest condolences to the families and colleagues of those killed and wounded in Annapolis. It once seemed unimaginable that reporters going to work to cover a local community could face this kind of violence. No one should have to experience this type of tragedy and trauma, and we cannot let these unthinkable attacks become routine.

“There’s no denying that politicians in this country, led by Donald Trump, have deliberately stoked a climate of fear and resentment of journalists. Newsrooms everywhere have noted an uptick in violent threats against reporters for doing their jobs and holding the powerful accountable. Our political leaders have a responsibility to end the dangerous rhetoric and threats toward journalists and take action to deter and prevent mass shootings so nothing like this happens again.”

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