On Thursday, 38-year-old Jarrod Ramos shot and killed five people at the offices of the Capital Gazette. Ramos had a long-standing feud with the publication dating back to 2011, suing The Capital in 2012 for defamation. The case was dismissed in court. He was identified through facial recognition technology because he had mutilated his fingertips. Intern Anthony Messenger tweeted about the active shooter situation on Twitter. Police responded within a minute. The attack is one of the deadliest against journalists in American history. Even as this tragedy played out in their own office, the reporters of The Capital, unfazed, reported on their own shooting after law enforcement had evacuated the building.
The victims were Wendi Winters, Rebecca Smith, Robert Hiaasen, Gerald Fischmann, and John McNamara. The Capital posted stories about each of their lost colleagues on Twitter. As their social media account noted, Mr. Fischmann had a “dry wit” and a “wicked pen.” Mr. Hiaasen was known for his many contributions to the newsroom, but also for the mentorship he offered to younger reporters. John McNamara, among many things, provided a knowledge bank for local sports teams. The rest you can read here.
Today, the Capital Gazette lost five members of our family. Stories on all five bright, wonderful lives will be included in the following tweets.— Capital Gazette (@capgaznews) June 29, 2018
Gerald Fischman’s personality was so quiet and withdrawn that it hid the brilliant mind, wry wit and “wicked pen” that his colleagues would treasure. https://t.co/mGrc90BNMV— Capital Gazette (@capgaznews) June 29, 2018
Rob Hiaasen’s wryly observant writing style and his generous mentoring of young journalists assured him of roles in several newsrooms, including the Capital Gazette. https://t.co/ZLZWHtp8nQ— Capital Gazette (@capgaznews) June 29, 2018
John McNamara was remembered by his colleagues for his flexibility, concise writing and extensive knowledge of regional sports. https://t.co/YRBlOyDX6E— Capital Gazette (@capgaznews) June 29, 2018
Rebecca Smith was a recent hire at the Capital Gazette but had already proved herself a valuable asset. https://t.co/OdHehI3lQY— Capital Gazette (@capgaznews) June 29, 2018
After a career in fashion and public relations in New York City, Wendi Winters built a reputation as a prolific freelance reporter and well-known community resource at the Capital Gazette. https://t.co/IHfo7ZIkWd— Capital Gazette (@capgaznews) June 29, 2018
Yes, they’re news stories, which also serve as a final goodbye. Yesterday was tragic. There are no words to describe it. This was a heinous attack. Period. Nevertheless, as we offer thoughts and prayers to the victims and their families, the work at The Capital will not rest. It’s editor, Jimmy DeButts, said while they grieve—their mission to report, expose, and inform will not be disrupted.