We now know more about the man who burst into the office of the Capitol Gazette newspaper in Annapolis, Maryland, Thursday with a shotgun, killing five people and seriously injuring several others. I won’t print his name, as is my custom with such people, but it appears not to be terrorism nor politically-motivated. It's personal: he’s held a grudge against the paper since 2012, when it ran an article about his conviction for criminal harassment. He sued the paper for defamation and lost in 2015. Ironically, the writer of the article that allegedly sparked his vendetta no longer even works there, and it’s unclear whether any of his victims had anything to do with the story that angered him or even knew about it.
Meanwhile, a big salute to the staff of the Gazette, who despite being traumatized and losing staffers to death and injury, vowed that the next day’s edition would come out, and they worked at home and got it out. In a time when journalism has been driven into low regard among the public by some of its more visible practitioners’ bias, egomania and lax regard for fact-checking, the Gazette staff just reminded the world what real journalistic professionalism and courage under fire look like.