Capital Gazette to publish newspapers on Friday despite shooting in its offices
The Capital Gazette will continue publishing newspapers on Friday, despite a gunman barging into their office and opening fire the day before, killing five people in a targeted attack.
“I can tell you this: We are putting out a damn paper tomorrow,” reporter Chase Cook said.
“There will be a Capital Friday,” photojournalist Joshua McKerrow wrote on Twitter Thursday evening, referring to the newspaper The Capital, which is part of Capital Gazette Communications.
McKerrow has been publishing pictures to Twitter of the scene throughout the ordeal. He says he and his colleagues will continue to cover the story of the shooting.
The shooting took place around 2:30 p.m. Eastern time Thursday, when a suspect entered the building and started shooting.
Five people were killed, and at least some of them were employees of the Capital Gazette, according to another reporter.
The names of the dead are being withheld until families can be notified.
Throughout the aftermath, Capital reporters were seen continuing to do their jobs.
Crime reporter Phil Davis reported on his experience through a series of chilling tweets, then gave an interview to the Baltimore Sun. (The Sun owns the Capital Gazette.)
He said the suspect shot through the glass door in the office and fired at his co-workers.
“There is nothing more terrifying than hearing multiple people get shot while you’re under your desk, and then hear the gunman reload.”
“I’m a police reporter. I write about this stuff — not necessarily to this extent, but shootings and death — all the time,” he told the Sun.
Terry Smith of the Capital Gazette told CNN his colleagues were absolutely terrified.
On the Capital Gazette website, the news of its own shooting was the top story. The byline on the story was from a Baltimore Sun reporter.
After the attack, Capital Gazette editor Jimmy DeButts offered insights on the characters of those who work at the paper.
“Just know that @capgaznews (the Twitter handle of the Capital Gazette) reporters & editors give all they have every day,” he wrote.
“We try to expose corruption. We fight to get access to public records & bring to light the inner workings of government despite major hurdles put in our way. The reporters & editors put their all into finding the truth. That is our mission. Will always be.”
Local police on scene said they knew the Capital Gazette reporters well, and would work hard to complete the investigation.
“The Capital newspaper is our local newspaper… we have friends at the Capital newspaper,” acting police chief Bill Krampf said Thursday. “We’re here, we’re invested, and we’re going to get this investigation right.”
According to the Sun, the history of the Capital Gazette, which runs the Capitol and sister newspaper the Maryland Gazette, dates back to 1727. The paper had the first female newspaper publisher in the country when Anne Catharine Green took over.
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Thought it was a local paper, it was still one of the first newspapers to publish the Declaration of Independence, “although it appeared on page 2; then, as now, local news took precedence,” Chris Kaltenbach wrote on the Baltimore Sun.
Many people are defending journalists in the wake of the attack.
U.S. whistleblower Edward Snowden, who leaked secret documents to journalists in 2013, also commented on the attack against the newspaper.
“To fight words with weapons is more than violence, it is a crime against the Constitution. Those who justify such attacks are no patriots,” Snowden wrote on Twitter.
White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders, who has previously attacked the media for “unfair” coverage, condemned the attack as well.
“A violent attack on innocent journalists doing their job is an attack on every American,” she wrote on Twitter.
According to the Committee to Protect Journalists, there have been at least 29 journalists killed in 2018 so far (not including Thursday’s acts.)
“We are appalled by the shooting in the Capital Gazette newsroom. Newspapers like the Gazette do vital work, and our thoughts are with them amid this unconscionable tragedy,” Joel Simon, of the CPJ said in a release. “Violence against journalists is unacceptable, and we welcome the thorough investigation into the motivations behind the shooting.”
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