First Lady Melania Trump was also briefed, according to her spokeswoman Stephanie Grisham.
At least five people are dead and several others are “gravely” injured after a suspected shooter, armed with a shotgun, opened fire at the Maryland daily newspaper Thursday afternoon, according to the Anne Arundel County Government. Police quickly responded and engaged the suspect who was taken into custody, officials said.
Vice President Mike Pence joined the growing number of lawmakers expressing condolences.
White House press secretary Sarah Sanders condemned the shooting as an “evil act of senseless violence”.
Maryland lawmakers urged people to be cautious.
Gov. Larry Hogan tweeted that his was “devastated” to learn of the shooting: “Please, heed all warnings and stay away from the area. Praying for those at the scene and for our community.”
Sen. Ben Cardin, D-Md., tweeted his gratitude for first responders and said that his heart was with the Capital Gazette and the people of Annapolis.
Sen. Chris Van Hollen, D-Md., called for an end to the violence and retweeting a Capital Gazette reporter Phil Davis, said “journalists shouldn’t have to fend off bullets in the newsroom while doing their jobs.”
Maryland Rep. John Sarbanes, who represents Maryland 3rd Congressional District which includes Annapolis, tweeted that he is monitoring the situation and that his thoughts are with the paper’s staff and families.
Virginia state delegate Chris Hurst tweeted that the “threat to journalists is real”. Hurst became a politician after his girlfriend, Alison Parker, a WDBJ reporter, was shot and killed along with cameraman Adam Ward by a former station employee during a live newscast.
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