Five people were killed at a shooting at the office of the Capital Gazette, a local newspaper group in Annapolis, Maryland on Thursday. Tweets by journalists at the scene described a terrifying ordeal. A white male suspect in his late 30s was taken into custody by police and is being questioned.
Active shooter 888 Bestgate please help us— Anthony Messenger (@amesscapgaz) June 28, 2018
Anthony Messenger, an intern with the Capital Gazette, tweeted moments after the incident began. A colleague of his later confirmed that he was safe.
A single shooter shot multiple people at my office, some of whom are dead.— Phil Davis (@PhilDavis_CG) June 28, 2018
Phil Davis, a crime reporter, was in the building at the time of the shooting. He told The Baltimore Sun it "was like a war zone" and that he and his colleagues hid under their desks from a lone male gunman.
He tweeted what that felt like as he waited to be interviewed by police.
There is nothing more terrifying than hearing multiple people get shot while you're under your desk and then hear the gunman reload— Phil Davis (@PhilDavis_CG) June 28, 2018
Gunman shot through the glass door to the office and opened fire on multiple employees. Can't say much more and don't want to declare anyone dead, but it's bad.— Phil Davis (@PhilDavis_CG) June 28, 2018
Mr Davis told the Baltimore Sun: "I'm a police reporter. I write about this stuff - not necessarily to this extent, but shootings and death - all the time.
"But as much as I'm going to try to articulate how traumatising it is to be hiding under your desk, you don't know until you're there and you feel helpless."
He said that he and others remained hidden under the desks when the shooter stopped firing. Police arrived within a minute, local officials said, and surrounded the gunman.
Reporters then began tweeting about their safety, and the welfare of their colleagues.
A photojournalist, Joshua McKerrow, posted pictures of the police response to Twitter. He later said he was "heartbroken".
I don't have many details right now. My colleagues Phil Davis, Chase Cook, Anthony Messenger, Rick Hutzell and Selene San Felice are ok. Rachael Pacella is in the hospital with an injury.— Danielle Ohl (@DTOhl) June 28, 2018
Police said they safely evacuated 170 people from the building, which housed 30 other businesses.
The editor of the Capital Gazette website, Jimmy DeButts, said he was devastated. He also paid tribute to the newspaper's journalists, saying: "The reporters & editors put their all into finding the truth. That is our mission. Will always be."
Heartbroken.— Joshua McKerrow (@joshuamckerrow) June 28, 2018
Devastated & heartbroken. Numb. Please stop asking for information/interviews. I’m in no position to speak, just know @capgaznews reporters & editors give all they have every day. There are no 40 hour weeks, no big paydays - just a passion for telling stories from our communty.— Jimmy DeButts (@jd3217) June 28, 2018
Despite the tragedy, surviving staff did not appear to be cowed, saying they would put out a Friday edition.
I can tell you this: We are putting out a damn paper tomorrow.— Chase Cook (@chaseacook) June 28, 2018
They posted individual articles paying tribute to each of their colleagues who were shot dead.
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
They got their Friday edition out and published in time, leading on the tragedy and the newspaper's loss.