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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.'"

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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Journalist Bob Norman has been raking the muck of South Florida for the past 25 years. His work has led to criminal cases against corrupt politicians, the ouster of bad judges from the bench, and has garnered dozens of state, regional, and national awards.
Contact: Bob Norman

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