Maryland newspaper suspect's past sparked fears he would become 'next mass shooter,' reports say

Police in Annapolis, Md., were reportedly warned years ago that Jarrod W. Ramos -- the suspect in Thursday's deadly shooting in the newsroom of the Capital Gazette -- “will be your next mass shooter."

Jayne Miller, a reporter with Baltimore's WBAL-TV, said Thursday that she spoke to a woman who claimed Ramos had stalked, harassed and sued her -- becoming "fixated" to the point where she became frightened enough to move out of state.

"He's a f***** nut job," the woman said, according to Miller. The unidentified woman told Miller she had warned a former police official years ago that Ramos “will be your next mass shooter."

Police identified Ramos, a man in his 30s, as the suspect taken into custody following Thursday's shooting, which left five Gazette staffers dead, the Associated Press reported.

In 2012, Ramos had reportedly filed a defamation lawsuit against the Capital Gazette -- including one of its reporters, an Anne Arundel County judge and a woman who testified against him — after publishing an article about his conviction in a criminal harassment case a year earlier.

The harassment case involved an online relationship with a former high school classmate Ramos had tried to contact, the Baltimore Sun reported.

It was unclear whether the woman named in the lawsuit was the same woman who spoke with WBAL-TV’s Miller.

The Baltimore Sun, which owns the Annapolis paper, reported the lawsuit also named the paper’s former editor and publisher, Thomas Marquardt, as a defendant. He told the Sun that Ramos began harassing the paper and its staff after the article ran in 2011 with online threats that escalated for years.

“I was seriously concerned he would threaten us with physical violence,” Marquardt told the Sun. “I even told my wife, ‘We have to be concerned. This guy could really hurt us.’”

Officials have yet to confirm a motive for Thursday’s attack, saying the suspect has not been cooperative in providing information to investigators.

Anne Arundel County acting police Chief William Krampf called Thursday’s newsroom shooting a targeted attack in which the gunman "looked for his victims."

"This person was prepared today to come in, this person was prepared to shoot people," Krampf said.

The victims included Rob Hiaasen, 59, assistant managing editor; Wendi Winters a community news reporter; reporter John McNamara; Gerald Fischman, editorial page editor; and sales assistant Rebecca Smith.

Police said two others had minor injuries, and the newspaper later reported both were employees later released from a hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.