‘Today, we are speechless’: Capital Gazette publishes blank editorial page to honour victims of newsroom shooting
The Capital Gazette newspaper in Maryland published an edition on Friday with photographs of five of its employees, who were killed in a shooting on Thursday, on its front page while it left the editorial page blank to commemorate the victims.
Rob Hiaasen, 59, Wendi Winters, 65, Rebecca Smith, 34, Gerald Fischman, 61, and John McNamara were killed in the shooting. Smith was a sales assistant and the others were journalists.
The Annapolis newspaper The Capital, part of the Gazette group, published an edition on Friday with photographs of each of the victims along with “5 shot dead at The Capital” as a headline in large bold lettering on its front page.
On its “Opinion” page, there were no articles, just a tribute to 5 of its staff members.
“Today, we are speechless. This page is intentionally left blank today to commemorate victim of Thursday’s shootings at our offices,” the page said. It also carried the name of the 5 victims. “Tomorrow this page will return to its steady purpose of offerings our readers informed opinion about the world around them, that they might be better citizens,” it added.
On its front page story, Capital Gazette named the suspect as Jarrod Ramos, 38, of Laurel, about 25 miles (40 km) west of Annapolis, citing law enforcement. Annapolis is the state capital of Maryland and part of the Baltimore–Washington metropolitan area.
Ramos had brought a defamation lawsuit in 2012 against Eric Hartley, formerly a staff writer and columnist with Capital Gazette, and Thomas Marquardt, then its editor and publisher, according to a court filing. In 2015, Maryland second-highest court upheld a ruling in favour of the Capital Gazette and a former reporter who were accused by Ramos of defamation.
According to a legal document, an article contended that Ramos had harassed a woman on Facebook and that he had pleaded guilty to criminal harassment.
Capital Gazette runs several newspapers out of its Annapolis office. They include one of the oldest newspapers in the United States, The Gazette, which traces its origins back to 1727.
Jarrod Ramos, 38, blasted his way through the newsroom of Annapolis daily on Thursday, killing at least five people in one of the deadliest attacks recorded on a US media outlet. Ramos fired through a glass door, looked for victims and then sprayed the newsroom with gunfire, police and a witness said.
He has been charged was charged with five counts of murder and was denied bail on Friday. Ramos, from Laurel, 25 miles (40 km) west of Annapolis, is not cooperating with investigators, authorities said. He did not speak as he appeared by video link from a detention facility for a brief court hearing at Anne Arundel County criminal court, they said.
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