Quietly clutching candles or hoisting #AnnapolisStrong signs more than 1,000 people have streamed through Maryland's capital, remembering five people slain in a US newspaper office.
Friends, former co-workers and those who felt connected to the victims took part in a strikingly silent candlelit march on Friday evening to honour the employees of The Capital newspaper who died a day earlier in one of the deadliest attacks on journalists in US history.
Jarrod W. Ramos has been charged with five counts of first-degree murder.
Authorities say he has a longtime grudge against the paper, suing it in 2012 after it ran an article about him pleading guilty to harassing a woman. He also sent a barrage of menacing tweets that led to an investigation five years ago.
A detective concluded he was no threat, and the paper didn't want to press charges for fear of "putting a stick in a beehive."
The victims of the attack are assistant managing editor Rob Hiaasen, editorial page editor Gerald Fischman, special projects editor Wendi Winters, reporter John McNamara and sales assistant Rebecca Smith.
David Marsters, worked at the newspaper from 2008 to 2016 and knew four of the slain employees, said the outpouring of grief over their deaths is a testament to the special bond the newspaper has with its readers.
"They were great people who did amazing work in the community," he said.
The march ended at a waterfront harbour usually buzzing with laughter and nosie from nearby restaurants, bars and shops. But not on Friday.
"For it to be so still and so sombre, especially on a Friday night, it's startling," Kit O'Neill said, describing Annapolis as "a small town with a big heart."
Police say Ramos barricaded the rear exit of the office to prevent anyone from escaping and then gunned down a victim trying to slip out the back.
His lawyers had no comment after he was denied bail in a brief court appearance. He was placed on suicide watch.
Ramos had repeatedly targeted staffers with angry, profanity-laced tweets, launching so many online attacks that then-publisher Tom Marquardt called police in 2013.
A detective investigated, holding a conference call with a lawyer for the publishing company, a former correspondent and the paper's publisher, Anne Arundel County Police Chief Timothy Altomare said.
A police report said the lawyer produced a trove of tweets in which Ramos "makes mention of blood in the water, journalist hell, hit man, open season, glad there won't be murderous rampage, murder career."
The detective, Michael Praley, said in the report that he "did not believe that Mr. Ramos was a threat to employees" at the paper.
"As of this writing the Capital will not pursue any charges," Praley wrote. "It was described as putting a stick in a beehive which the Capital Newspaper representatives do not wish to do."
Marquardt, the former publisher, said he talked with the newspaper's lawyers about seeking a restraining order but didn't out of fears it could provoke Ramos to do something worse.
Later, in 2015, Ramos tweeted that he would like to see the paper stop publishing, but "it would be nicer" to see two of its journalists "cease breathing."
Then Ramos "went silent" for more than two years, Marquardt said.
"This led us to believe that he had moved on, but for whatever reason, he decided to resurrect his issue with The Capital yesterday.
"We don't know why."