Armed Cartoonist Holed Up In Herald Newsroom

This is just frightening: El Nuevo Herald cartoonist Jose Varela, who was brandishing what looked like a handgun, is apparently holed up on the sixth floor of the Miami Herald newsroom. David Ovalle writes in on the Miami Herald -- which owns El Nuevo Herald -- that Varela "appeared agitated and demanded to see El Nuevo Herald's executive editor, Humberto Castello" and "began ordering women out 'for their own security.'"

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Ovalle also writes that Varela's motives are unclear. Miami Police are on the scene evacuating the building, as are Miami-Dade marine units to secure the waterfront area at One Herald Plaza.

The Sun-Sentinel is reporting that Varela was fired in February, that he's actually carrying a machine gun, and that he's inside Castello's office. The newspaper is basing its article on unspecified "news reports."

Let's hope we're soon thankful that this thing ends peacefully.

UPDATE: The Herald is now reporting that Castello is safely out of the building: "Castello, who was evacuated, told police that Varela took over his office and trashed it, including a cartoon of the executive editor that Varela had drawn."

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