Victims of Capital Gazette newsroom shooting named

The Capital Gazette boss Rob Hiaasen, community news reporter Wendi Winters, sales assistant Rebecca Smith, editorial page editor Gerald Fischman, and staff writer John McNamara have all been named by police as victims of the latest gun attack on US soil.

It took place at their newsroom in Annapolis at around 2.40pm local time on Thursday, with a male suspect – reportedly 38-year-old Jarrod W Ramos – arrested in connection with the incident.

A GoFundMe has been launched to support survivors of the attack, some of whom have been reporting on the deaths of their colleagues.

:: Rob Hiaasen

The 59-year-old was a veteran journalist who became an assistant editor at the Gazette in 2010.

His byline had featured in renowned publications including The Washington Post, and he was also a journalism lecturer at the University of Maryland.

According to a recent Facebook post, he had just celebrated his 33rd wedding anniversary with wife Maria.

Paying tribute, brother Carl – a Miami Herald columnist – wrote: “I am devastated and heartsick to confirm the loss of my wonderful brother Rob today in the mass shooting in the newsroom at the Annapolis Capital Gazette.

“Rob was an editor and columnist at the paper, and one of the most gentle and funny people I’ve ever known.

“He spent his whole gifted career as a journalist, and he believed profoundly in the craft and mission of serving the public’s right to know the news.”

Gazette reporter Chase Cook said on Twitter: “He was an amazing editor who made me a better reporter.”

:: Wendi Winters

Manhattan native Ms Winters was a community news reporter at the paper and described herself on her Facebook profile as a mother of “four great young adults”.

She had worked at the Gazette since 2002 but also wrote for other publications, including as a senior staff writer reviewing productions for DC Metro Theater Arts.

“It’s took me a long time to call myself a journalist, but that’s the majority of what I do,” her Facebook page reads.

She said that while she had completed four-years at journalism school, her job mostly relied on “a solid foundation of all the skills I’ve built up over the years” – including retailing, design, management and motherhood.

:: John McNamara

Another veteran of the industry, Mr McNamara was a staff writer at the Gazette but kept himself busy with several editor posts elsewhere.

He led Bowie Blade-News, focused on the Maryland city of Bowie, and the Crofton-West County Gazette, a free weekly newspaper serving a number of local communities.

According to The Washington Post, he was a keen mentor to young reporters at the Capital Gazette, where he had worked in some capacity for more than two decades.

:: Rebecca Smith

The Baltimore Sun – which owns the Gazette – reports that Ms Smith was a recently hired sales assistant at the paper.

According to her Facebook page, she had only started working there last November.

She was a mother, aged 34, and engaged to be married.

Her boss, Marty Padden, told the Sun: “She was kind and considerate and willing to help when needed.

“She was a very thoughtful person. She seemed to really enjoy working in the media business.”

:: Gerald Fischman

Mr Fischman worked at the Gazette as an editorial page editor.

He was described by The Baltimore Sun as “quiet, brilliant and quirky” – and the voice and wicked pen” of his paper’s editorial page for more than 25 years.


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