Gunman kills at least five in targeted attack at Maryland newspaper

ANNAPOLIS, Md., June 28 (Reuters) - A man brandishing a shotgun walked into the office of a small newspaper in Maryland on Thursday and killed at least five people in a targeted assault, one of the deadliest attacks recorded on a U.S. media outlet, authorities said.

The suspect described as a white man in his 30s who lives in Maryland fired through a glass door, looked for victims and then sprayed the newsroom of the Capital Gazette newspaper group in Annapolis with gunfire, police and a witness said.

Law enforcement sources identified the suspect as Jarrod Ramos of Laurel, Maryland, to the Capital Gazette on Thursday night. The Capital Gazette told Reuters that Ramos had a long-running feud with the newspaper.

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Deadly shooting at Capital Gazette newspaper in Annapolis, Maryland
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Deadly shooting at Capital Gazette newspaper in Annapolis, Maryland
Police respond to a shooting in Annapolis, Maryland, June 28, 2018. - Several people were feared killed Thursday in a shooting at the building that houses the Capital Gazette, a daily newspaper published in Annapolis, a historic city an hour east of Washington. A reporter for the Capital Gazette, Phil Davis, tweeted that a 'gunman shot through the glass door to the office and opened fire on multiple employees.' He said several people were killed.'There is nothing more terrifying than hearing multiple people get shot while you're under your desk and then hear the gunman reload,' Davis said. (Photo by SAUL LOEB / AFP) (Photo credit should read SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)
Jarrod Ramos, suspected of killing five people at the offices of the Capital Gazette newspaper office in Annapolis, Maryland, U.S., June 28, 2018 is seen in this Anne Arundel Police Department booking photo provided June 29, 2018. Anne Arundel Police/Handout via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE HAS BEEN SUPPLIED BY A THIRD PARTY.
Police gather after a gunman opened fire at the Capital Gazette newspaper, killing at least five people and injuring several others in Annapolis, Maryland, U.S., June 28, 2018. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts
Capital Gazette reporter Chase Cook (R) and photographer Joshua McKerrow (L) work on the next days newspaper while awaiting news from their colleagues in Annapolis, Maryland, June 28, 2018. - At least five people were killed Thursday when a gunman opened fire inside the offices of the Capital Gazette, a newspaper published in Annapolis, a historic city an hour east of Washington.A reporter for the daily, Phil Davis, tweeted that a 'gunman shot through the glass door to the office and opened fire on multiple employees.''There is nothing more terrifying than hearing multiple people get shot while you're under your desk and then hear the gunman reload,' Davis said. (Photo by Ivan Couronne / AFP) (Photo credit should read IVAN COURONNE/AFP/Getty Images)
Police gather near the Capitol Gazette newspaper office where a shooting occurred in Annapolis, Maryland, U.S., June 28, 2018. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts
ANNAPOLIS, MD - JUNE 28: Police respond to a shooting at the Capital Gazette newspaper building on Thursday, June 28, 2018 in Annapolis, Md. (Photo by Joshua McKerrow/Capital Gazette/TNS via Getty Images)
Active shooter 888 Bestgate please help us
A single shooter shot multiple people at my office, some of whom are dead.
There is nothing more terrifying than hearing multiple people get shot while you're under your desk and then hear the gunman reload
Gunman shot through the glass door to the office and opened fire on multiple employees. Can't say much more and don… https://t.co/i1RmtpXmO9
Police officers respond to an active shooter inside a city building in Annapolis, Maryland, U.S., June 28, 2018. REUTERS/Greg Savoy
Journalist E.B Furgurson (R) takes notes with two other people as police officers respond to an active shooter inside a city building in Annapolis, Maryland, U.S., June 28, 2018. REUTERS/Greg Savoy
ANNAPOLIS, MARYLAND - JUNE 28, 2018: Gavin Buckley, Mayor of Annapolis, comments on the shooting at the Capital Gazette in Annapolis, Maryland, June 28, 2018. At least five people were killed Thursday when a gunman opened fire inside the offices of the Capital Gazette, a newspaper published in Annapolis, a historic city an hour east of Washington. (Photo by Alex Wroblewski/Getty Images)
A New York Police officer is seen deployed outside the New York Times building following a fatal shooting at a Maryland newspaper, in New York City, U.S., June 28, 2018. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid
A member of the FBI responds to a shooting in Annapolis, Maryland, June 28, 2018. - At least five people were killed Thursday when a gunman opened fire inside the offices of the Capital Gazette, a newspaper published in Annapolis, a historic city an hour east of Washington.A reporter for the daily, Phil Davis, tweeted that a 'gunman shot through the glass door to the office and opened fire on multiple employees.''There is nothing more terrifying than hearing multiple people get shot while you're under your desk and then hear the gunman reload,' Davis said. (Photo by SAUL LOEB / AFP) (Photo credit should read SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)
Law enforcement officials secure a crime scene after a gunman fired through a glass door at the Capital Gazette newspaper and sprayed the newsroom with gunfire, killing at least five people and injuring several others in Annapolis, Maryland, U.S., June 28, 2018. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts
Police respond to a shooting in Annapolis, Maryland, June 28, 2018. - At least five people were killed Thursday when a gunman opened fire inside the offices of the Capital Gazette, a newspaper published in Annapolis, a historic city an hour east of Washington.A reporter for the daily, Phil Davis, tweeted that a 'gunman shot through the glass door to the office and opened fire on multiple employees.''There is nothing more terrifying than hearing multiple people get shot while you're under your desk and then hear the gunman reload,' Davis said. (Photo by SAUL LOEB / AFP) (Photo credit should read SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)
Capital Gazette reporter Chase Cook (R) and photographer Joshua McKerrow (L) work on the next days newspaper while awaiting news from their colleagues in Annapolis, Maryland, June 28, 2018. - At least five people were killed Thursday when a gunman opened fire inside the offices of the Capital Gazette, a newspaper published in Annapolis, a historic city an hour east of Washington.A reporter for the daily, Phil Davis, tweeted that a 'gunman shot through the glass door to the office and opened fire on multiple employees.''There is nothing more terrifying than hearing multiple people get shot while you're under your desk and then hear the gunman reload,' Davis said. (Photo by Ivan Couronne / AFP) (Photo credit should read IVAN COURONNE/AFP/Getty Images)
Police respond to a shooting in Annapolis, Maryland, June 28, 2018. - At least five people were killed Thursday when a gunman opened fire inside the offices of the Capital Gazette, a newspaper published in Annapolis, a historic city an hour east of Washington.A reporter for the daily, Phil Davis, tweeted that a 'gunman shot through the glass door to the office and opened fire on multiple employees.''There is nothing more terrifying than hearing multiple people get shot while you're under your desk and then hear the gunman reload,' Davis said. (Photo by SAUL LOEB / AFP) (Photo credit should read SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)
Police respond to a shooting in Annapolis, Maryland, June 28, 2018. - At least five people were killed Thursday when a gunman opened fire inside the offices of the Capital Gazette, a newspaper published in Annapolis, a historic city an hour east of Washington.A reporter for the daily, Phil Davis, tweeted that a 'gunman shot through the glass door to the office and opened fire on multiple employees.''There is nothing more terrifying than hearing multiple people get shot while you're under your desk and then hear the gunman reload,' Davis said. (Photo by SAUL LOEB / AFP) (Photo credit should read SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)
New York Police officers are seen deployed outside the New York Times building, following a fatal shooting at a Maryland newspaper, in New York City, U.S., June 28, 2018. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid
Maryland Governor Larry Hogan speaks during a press conference following a shooting in Annapolis, Maryland, June 28, 2018. - Several people were feared killed Thursday in a shooting at the building that houses the Capital Gazette, a daily newspaper published in Annapolis, a historic city an hour east of Washington. A reporter for the Capital Gazette, Phil Davis, tweeted that a 'gunman shot through the glass door to the office and opened fire on multiple employees.' He said several people were killed.'There is nothing more terrifying than hearing multiple people get shot while you're under your desk and then hear the gunman reload,' Davis said. (Photo by SAUL LOEB / AFP) (Photo credit should read SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)
Police respond to a shooting in Annapolis, Maryland, June 28, 2018. - At least five people were killed Thursday when a gunman opened fire inside the offices of the Capital Gazette, a newspaper published in Annapolis, a historic city an hour east of Washington.A reporter for the daily, Phil Davis, tweeted that a 'gunman shot through the glass door to the office and opened fire on multiple employees.''There is nothing more terrifying than hearing multiple people get shot while you're under your desk and then hear the gunman reload,' Davis said. (Photo by SAUL LOEB / AFP) (Photo credit should read SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)
Police respond to a shooting in Annapolis, Maryland, June 28, 2018. - At least five people were killed Thursday when a gunman opened fire inside the offices of the Capital Gazette, a newspaper published in Annapolis, a historic city an hour east of Washington.A reporter for the daily, Phil Davis, tweeted that a 'gunman shot through the glass door to the office and opened fire on multiple employees.''There is nothing more terrifying than hearing multiple people get shot while you're under your desk and then hear the gunman reload,' Davis said. (Photo by SAUL LOEB / AFP) (Photo credit should read SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)
Maryland Governor Larry Hogan (C) speaks during a press conference following a shooting in Annapolis, Maryland, June 28, 2018. - At least five people were killed Thursday when a gunman opened fire inside the offices of the Capital Gazette, a newspaper published in Annapolis, a historic city an hour east of Washington.A reporter for the daily, Phil Davis, tweeted that a 'gunman shot through the glass door to the office and opened fire on multiple employees.''There is nothing more terrifying than hearing multiple people get shot while you're under your desk and then hear the gunman reload,' Davis said. (Photo by SAUL LOEB / AFP) (Photo credit should read SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)
Law enforcement officials secure a crime scene after a gunman opened fire at the Capital Gazette newspaper, killing at least five people and injuring several others in Annapolis, Maryland, U.S., June 28, 2018. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts
FBI SWAT team members confer near a shooting scene after a gunman opened fire at the Capital Gazette newspaper, killing at least five people and injuring several others in Annapolis, Maryland, U.S., June 28, 2018. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts
A newspaper stand selling the Capital Gazette is pictured in Annapolis, Maryland, on June 28, 2018. - At least five people were killed Thursday when a gunman opened fire inside the offices of the Capital Gazette, a newspaper published in Annapolis, a historic city an hour east of Washington.A reporter for the daily, Phil Davis, tweeted that a 'gunman shot through the glass door to the office and opened fire on multiple employees.''There is nothing more terrifying than hearing multiple people get shot while you're under your desk and then hear the gunman reload,' Davis said. (Photo by ZACH GIBSON / AFP) (Photo credit should read ZACH GIBSON/AFP/Getty Images)
Law enforcement officials survey the scene after a gunman fired through a glass door at the Capital Gazette newspaper and sprayed the newsroom with gunfire, killing at least five people and injuring several others, in Annapolis, Maryland, U.S., June 28, 2018. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts
Law enforcement officials survey the scene after a gunman fired through a glass door at the Capital Gazette newspaper and sprayed the newsroom with gunfire, killing at least five people and injuring several others in Annapolis, Maryland, U.S., June 28, 2018. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts

Police officers talk to a man as they respond to an active shooter inside a city building in Annapolis, Maryland, U.S., June 28, 2018.

(REUTERS/Greg Savoy)

Police gather after a gunman opened fire at the Capital Gazette newspaper, killing at least five people and injuring several others in Annapolis, Maryland, U.S., June 28, 2018. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts
Sheriff's department members outside 888 Bestgate Road after a shooting in the Capital Gazette Newspaper office/newsroom on Thursday, June 28, 2018, in Annapolis, Md. (Jerry Jackson/Baltimore Sun/TNS via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 28: A member of the NYPD stands guard in front of ABC headquarters as they increase security in Manhattan at major media companies following a shooting today at the Capital Gazette newspaper in Maryland on June 28, 2018 in New York City. One suspect is in custody after up to five people were reported killed in the shooting at the local newspaper. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
ANNAPOLIS, MD - JUNE 28: Police respond to a shooting at the Capital Gazette newspaper building on Thursday, June 28, 2018 in Annapolis, Md. (Photo by Joshua McKerrow/Capital Gazette/TNS via Getty Images)
Police respond to a shooting at the Capital Gazette newspaper building on Thursday, June 28, 2018 in Annapolis, Md. (Joshua McKerrow/Capital Gazette/TNS via Getty Images)
The scene outside 888 Bestgate, where an active shooter was in the Capital Gazette Newspaper office/newsroom, with heavy police, fire, and rescue presence on Thursday, June 28, 2018 in Annapolis, Md. (Joshua McKerrow/Capital Gazette/TNS via Getty Images)
BPD at @baltimoresun for precautionary sweep in light of Capital-Gazette incident https://t.co/ZduDQAcoDS
Absolutely devastated to learn of this tragedy in Annapolis. I am in contact with County Executive Steve Schuh, and… https://t.co/UmUc8MhuF2
Emergency response vehicles drive near a shooting scene after a gunman opened fire at the Capital Gazette newspaper in Annapolis, Maryland, U.S., June 28, 2018. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts
Law enforcement officials survey the scene after a gunman fired through a glass door at the Capital Gazette newspaper and sprayed the newsroom with gunfire, killing at least five people and injuring several others, in Annapolis, Maryland, U.S., June 28, 2018. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts
Police stage behind the Westfield Annapolis Mall after a shooting in the Capital Gazette Newspaper office/newsroom on Thursday, June 28, 2018, in Annapolis, Md. (Jerry Jackson/Baltimore Sun/TNS via Getty Images)
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Phil Davis, a Capital Gazette crime reporter, said he was hiding under his desk along with other newspaper employees when the shooter stopped firing, the Capital Gazette reported on its website.

The newsroom looked "like a war zone," he told the Baltimore Sun. "I don't know why he stopped," said Davis, who later said he was safe. "But as much as I'm going to try to articulate how traumatizing it is to be hiding under your desk, you don't know until you're there and you feel helpless."

Police officers in the Maryland capital of Annapolis responded within a minute to a 911 call about a shooting in progress and apprehended the suspect hiding under a desk, authorities said.

"His intent was to cause harm," William Krampf, Anne Arundel County's acting police chief, told a news conference. "This was a targeted attack on the Capital Gazette." He did not say why the gunman may have targeted the newspaper or its employees.

Police are treating the shooting as a local incident, with no links to terrorism, a law enforcement source told Reuters.

When police found the suspect, his weapon was on the ground and "not in his immediate proximity," Steve Schuh, Anne Arundel county executive, told cable news station CNN.

Police said they recovered what they thought might have been an explosive device but Krampf later said the suspect had smoke grenades. Investigators were in the process of securing his Maryland residence and obtaining search warrants, he said.

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Reactions to Capital Gazette shooting
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Reactions to Capital Gazette shooting
Strongly condemn the evil act of senseless violence in Annapolis, MD. A violent attack on innocent journalists doin… https://t.co/yYsg44MxfT
Another shooting. Another night in America where a father, a wife, a friend, a neighbor won’t be coming home. We ca… https://t.co/zdl0fAGZIp
The senseless attack on a Maryland newspaper today is sickening. God bless these journalists. We pray for them and their families tonight.
We try to expose corruption. We fight to get access to public records & bring to light the inner workings of govern… https://t.co/majPZ7yoe2
Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan issues statement on shooting at the Annapolis Capital Gazette. #capitalgazette https://t.co/WJa6xBLQRG
Attacks on journalists are attacks on freedom of expression. @UNESCO has resources online with information on how t… https://t.co/Pbz8iJSRTU
I am deeply appreciative of the well wishes my co-workers and I recieved from you all today. My thoughts and prayer… https://t.co/WeddNyjLsD
Journalists tell the stories of our communities, protect democracy, & often put their lives on the line just to do… https://t.co/TqtU9orqrD
Hearing the confirmation of names I was given hours ago of those lost, it's all too real now. Almost feel guilty sp… https://t.co/jDjViJdiQ2
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The suspect appears to have damaged his fingertips to try to avoid detection and is refusing to cooperate with law enforcement, Baltimore TV station WJZ and other local media reported. Krampf did not comment on those reports.

Capital Gazette, owned by the Baltimore Sun, runs multiple newspapers out of its Annapolis office and the group includes one of the oldest newspapers in the United States - the Gazette, which traces its origins back to 1727.

The company, part of the Tronc Inc media group, publishes a stable of newspapers in and around Annapolis, home of the U.S. Naval Academy. The papers have thrived by focusing on local news in the shadows of two much larger competitors, the Washington Post and Baltimore Sun.

Law enforcement in Baltimore and New York City deployed extra officers to the office of the New York Times and other major media outlets as a precaution, authorities said.

Although a motive is not yet known, the shooting drew the attention of media groups, including Reporters Without Borders, which said it was deeply disturbed by the events that unfolded in Annapolis.

U.S. President Donald Trump has been briefed on the shooting, White House spokeswoman Lindsay Walters said.

"My thoughts and prayers are with the victims and their families. Thank you to all of the First Responders who are currently on the scene," Trump said in a tweet.

White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said on Twitter: "A violent attack on innocent journalists doing their job is an attack on every American."

As a presidential candidate and after his election, Trump has repeatedly criticized the press, referring to several major news organizations as "fake news" and calling a group that included the New York Times, CNN and CBS "the enemy of the American people."

Jimmy DeButts, an editor at the Capital Gazette, tweeted that he was devastated, heartbroken and numb.

"I'm in no position to speak, just know @capgaznews reporters & editors give all they have every day. There are no 40 hour weeks, no big paydays - just a passion for telling stories from our community," he wrote.

One of the group's flagship papers, the Capital, plans to publish a Friday edition, several reporters with the group said.

"I can tell you this: We are putting out a damn paper tomorrow," reporter Chase Cook wrote on Twitter.

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The deadliest mass shootings in the US since 1900
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The deadliest mass shootings in the US since 1900

On October 1, 2017 in Las Vegas, Nevada, gunman Stephen Paddock opened fire on concertgoers below from the windows of his suite at the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino. 

As of October 3, at least 59 people are dead and over 500 injured in what became the deadliest mass shooting in United States history. 

(Photo by David Becker/Getty Images)

Five Dallas police officers were shot and killed by Micah Xavier Johnson, 25, as they guarded a group of protesters on July 7, 2016.

(Photo via REUTERS/Carlo Allegri)

On June 12, 2016, Omar Mateen opened fire inside Pulse Nightclub, a well-known LGBT club in Orlando, Florida, killing 49 people and injuring 58. 

REUTERS/Carlo Allegri/File Photo

Chris Harper-Mercer, 26, opened fire on the Umpqua Community College campus in Roseburg, Oregon, killing nine people and wounding nine others before he was shot dead by police on October 1, 2015.

(Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

White supremacist Dylann Roof, 21, opened fire at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina, during a bible study, leaving nine churchgoers dead on June 18, 2015. 

(REUTERS/Brian Snyder)

Rival motorcycle gangs killed nine at a restaurant in Waco, Texas, on May 18, 2015. More than 190 people are arrested. 

(REUTERS/Waco Police Department/Handout)

Fourteen people were killed and 22 were wounded when married couple Syed Rizwan Farook and Tashfeen Malik attacked a service center for people with developmental disabilities during its holiday party in San Bernadino, California, on Dec. 2, 2015.

(Photo by Barbara Davidson/The Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)

A college student killed six people, three in his apartment and others on the streets of Isla Vista, California, on May 23, 2014. The mentally ill gunman committed suicide.

(Photo by Irfan Khan/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)

A former Navy reservist working as a government contractor killed 12 people at the Washington Navy Yard on Sept. 16, 2013. He was shot dead by police.

(Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

On December 14, 2012, Adam Lanza attacked Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, killing 20 children and six school staff members.

(Photo by James Keivom/NY Daily News via Getty Images)

A masked gunman killed 12 people and wounded 70 when he opened fire on July 20, 2012, at a midnight premiere of the Batman film "The Dark Knight Rises" in Aurora, Denver.

(REUTERS/Evan Semon)

A white supremacist opened fire in the Sikh Temple of Wisconsin in Oak Creek, Wisconsin, on August 6, 2012, killing six people. 

(REUTERS/John Gress)

Then-U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ) was the target of an assassination attempt by a gunman in Tucson, Arizona, on Jan. 8, 2011. More than a dozen other people were injured and six people were killed at a public event entitled 'Congress on Your Corner' when a gunman opened fire.

(Photo by James Palka/Getty Images)

U.S. Army Major Nidal Malik Hasan, an army psychiatrist, killed 13 people and wounded 30 in a shooting at Fort Hood military base on November 5, 2009.

(Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

On April 3, 2009, 41-year-old Jiverly Antares Wong killed 13 people inside an immigration center in Binghamton, New York.

(Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

On April 16, 2007, gunman Seung-Hui Cho killed 32 people on the campus of Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Virginia. 

(Photo by Ted Richardson/Raleigh News & Observer/MCT via Getty Images)

A gunman killed five girls in a one-room Amish schoolhouse October 2, 2006, in Nickel Mines, Pennsylvania. The man entered the school, let the boys go free, tied up the girls and shot them execution-style before killing himself.

(Photo by William Thomas Cain/Getty Images)

Two men, John Allen Muhammad, 41, and Lee Boyd Malvo, 17, ambushed 13 people, killing 10 of them, in sniper-style shootings that terrorized the Washington D.C. area for three weeks in October 2002. Muhammad was executed and Malvo was sentenced to life in prison. 

(Photo credit should read LUKE FRAZZA/AFP/Getty Images)

The Columbine High School massacre was perpetrated by students Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold who killed 12 fellow students and one teacher on April 20, 1999.

(Photo via REUTERS/Gary Caskey GCC/HB)

George Hennard killed 23 people and injured 27 others when he attacked Luby's Cafeteria in Killeen, Texas, on October 16, 1991. 

(Photo by Gaylon Wampler/The LIFE Images Collection/Getty Images)

James Huberty, pictured here, shot and killed 21 people and hurt 19 others at a McDonald's restaurant in San Ysidro, California, on July 18, 1984. 

(Photo via Getty Images)

Student Charles Whitman climbed to the top of the clock tower at the University of Texas where he shot and killed 13 people after killing his mother and wife on August 1, 1966. 

(Photo via Getty Images)

The Ludlow massacre took place when members of the Colorado National Guard as well as other militiamen shot down 19 striking coal miners in 1914. 

(Photo via the Denver Post via Getty Images)

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(Reporting by Warren Strobel; additional reporting by Mark Hosenball and Jeff Mason in Washington, Colleen Jenkins in North Carolina, Diana Kruzman, Tea Kvetenadze, Frank McGurty and Peter Szekely in New York, Bernie Woodall in Fort Lauderdale, Florida and Andrew Hay in New Mexico; Writing by Jon Herskovitz; Editing by Richard Chang and Grant McCool)

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