Not long afterward, The Capital published the column that apparently fueled his anger.
A Losing Court Battle
Mr. Ramos filed a lawsuit against the owners of The Capital in 2012, claiming that it had defamed him in reporting that Mr. Ramos had pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor criminal harassment charge. Months later, he filed a fuller complaint alleging invasion of privacy, but the lawsuit was dismissed by a judge the next year because Mr. Ramos was unable to describe how he had been harmed by the newspaper article.
Mr. Ramos, who represented himself in the case, appealed the decision. But in 2015 an appellate court affirmed the lower court’s dismissal of the lawsuit, stating that Mr. Ramos showed little knowledge of defamation law and seemed not to “have learned his lesson.”
Tom Marquardt, a former executive editor and publisher at the newspaper, said Thursday night that he had long feared Mr. Ramos might resort to a violent act against the newspaper.
“I said at one time to my attorneys that this was a guy that was going to come and shoot us,” Mr. Marquardt said. “I was concerned on my behalf and on behalf of my staff that he was going to take more than legal action.”
Exhibiting Anger on Twitter
In November 2011, Mr. Ramos began tweeting under an account he called @EricHartleyFrnd, in which he mocked the column about him, by the reporter Eric Hartley, in The Capital, posted screenshots of court documents relating to a defamation case he had filed against the newspaper, and railed against newspaper employees. His tweets were laced with profanity, and often addressed Capital employees directly, as though he were having an ongoing conversation with them.
“See Tom, both choices were wrong,” he wrote on Nov. 12, 2012, apparently referring to Mr. Marquardt. “You already chose that long ago. But to print it was far more wrong. That was true to your form as well.”