The Lives Lost in the Capital Gazette Newsroom Shooting
A man with a vendetta against a newspaper in Annapolis has been charged with five counts of murder after he fired a shotgun through the newsroom’s glass doors and at its employees, killing five and injuring two others Thursday afternoon in a targeted shooting. Here are stories of those who died: Gerald Fischman, Rob Hiaasen, John McNamara, Rebecca Smith and Wendi Winters.
Gerald Fischman, 61
Editorial page editor Gerald Fischman, 61, was an award-winning writer and editor who worked at the Capital Gazette in Annapolis for 26 years. He was known in the newsroom for his shy demeanor, smart writing, wry wit and the cardigan with holes in the elbows that he always seemed to be wearing. He was also known for being in the office at all hours.
“It didn’t matter if you were working late at night or early on a Saturday, he was there,” said Elisha Sauers, a reporter at the Virginian-Pilot who worked with Fischman at the Capital Gazette for eight years. “I just remember that if we were all having a conversation around him, he might be very quiet and you might even forget he was there. And then out of the blue, he would have some very funny remark and chime in. He always had the perfect aside.”
Rob Hiaasen, 59
Rob Hiaasen wrote about snow snorkeling.
He wrote about his bat house: “Bats can eat as many as 1,200 insects an hour. . . . And I want to meet the person who tallied some bat’s hourly chow.”
John McNamara was an old-school reporter.
“Definitely a pen and paper guy,” said David Elfin, who co-wrote a book on University of Maryland basketball with McNamara. “He didn’t wear a fedora, but maybe he should have.”
Rebecca Smith, 34
Rebecca Smith, 34, had met the man she planned to marry. She was a recent hire at the Capital Gazette, where she was excited to work as a sales assistant in the Annapolis office.
Smith grew up in the Baltimore area and lived in Dundalk, Md., with her fiance, DJay Poling, and his daughter, Rileigh. Her friends and colleagues remember her as upbeat and dedicated to her family.
Wendi Winters, 65
Wendi Winters, 65, of Edgewater, Md., was an editor and community reporter for the Capital Gazette, where she wrote weekly columns, hundreds of feature articles and oversaw editing of the local’s special editions.
The mother of four dedicated more than two decades of her career to community journalism, spotlighting local youth in her “Teen of the Week” columns, pointing out little-known but charming attractions in Maryland in her “Off Limits” series and covering the arts scene in Anne Arundel County and beyond.