Capital Gazette publishes blank opinion page following shooting: ‘Today we are speechless’

The Capital newspaper left its opinion page blank on Friday morning, the first edition after a gunman shot and killed five people inside its Annapolis, Md., offices.

“Today, we are speechless,” the editors wrote. “This page is intentionally left blank today to commemorate victims of Thursday’s shootings at our office.”

The page names the victims: Rob Hiaasen, 59, the paper’s assistant managing editor; Gerald Fischman, editorial page editor; features editor Wendi Winters; editor and reporter John McNamara; and sales assistant Rebecca Smith.


CBS News reported Friday that two other employees are still in the hospital with injuries that are not considered to be life threatening.

“Tomorrow this page will return to its steady purpose of offering our readers informed opinion about the world around them, that they might be better citizens,” the editors wrote.

The local newspaper was committed to still publishing its daily print edition on Friday despite the deadly attack.

Editors and journalists met in a covered parking garage at the Annapolis mall, the reunification area set up by police during the evacuation of The Capital Gazette building.

The staff worked for hours after the deadly shooting to send the paper to press. 

“I can tell you this: We are putting out a damn paper tomorrow,” reporter Chase Cook tweeted Thursday.

High school sports editor Bob Hough told The Associated Press that he and a colleague spent the night working on the sports section from home with the assistance of The Baltimore Sun — their sister paper.

“I don’t know that there was ever any thought to not putting something together,” said Hough, who wasn’t at the office during the shooting.

Photographer Josh McKerrow said he edited photos on a laptop in the mall’s garage deck.

“It’s what our instinct was — to go back to work,” McKerrow said. “It’s what our colleagues would have done.”

The front page’s headline on Friday read “5 shot dead at The Capital” and featured photos of the victims.

The suspected gunman was identified Thursday night as 38-year-old Jarrod Ramos.

Ramos reportedly held a grudge against the newspaper and filed an unsuccessful lawsuit against The Capital in 2012.

The Baltimore Sun reported that Ramos has been charged with five counts of first-degree murder.

Tags Annapolis Annapolis Capital Gazette Maryland Mass shooting Newspaper newsroom shooting

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