Massachusetts reporter resigns after tweet about Maryland newspaper shooter

"Can't take it back; wish I could."

Police tape surrounds the front entrance of the office building housing The Capital Gazette newspaper in Annapolis, Md., on Friday, June 29, 2018. A man armed with smoke grenades and a shotgun attacked journalists in the building Thursday, killing several people before police quickly stormed the building and arrested him, police and witnesses said. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)
Police tape surrounds the front entrance of the office building housing The Capital Gazette newspaper Friday in Annapolis, Maryland. –Jose Luis Magana / AP

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (AP) — A Massachusetts newspaper reporter has resigned after falsely suggesting the perpetrator of the deadly shooting at a Maryland newspaper was wearing a President Donald Trump-inspired “Make America Great Again” hat.

The Republican newspaper in Springfield reports Conor Berry has apologized for tarnishing the “good work of fair-minded journalists everywhere” in his Friday resignation letter.

Berry tweeted an image of the familiar red hat and suggested 38-year-old Jarrod Ramos had dropped a similar one on The Capital Gazette’s newsroom floor before opening fire and killing five people Thursday. The tweet has since been taken down.

The Republican’s executive editor Wayne Phaneuf says journalists must be “more vigilant than ever” in their efforts to be fair and accurate. Trump frequently criticizes reporters as peddlers of “fake news.”

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Information from: The Springfield (Mass.) Republican, http://www.masslive.com/news/