Capital Gazette reporter: ‘What could we have done to make people hate us so much?’

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A reporter with the Capital Gazette asked what her staff could have done to “make people hate us so much” after five of her colleagues were shot on Thursday in Annapolis, Md.

Rachael Pacella, a Naval Academy and education reporter with the newspaper, appeared on CNN’s “Reliable Sources” with Brian Stelter on Sunday to discuss the deadly shooting.

Pacella was injured hitting a doorway while trying to flee the scene and questioned the motive for the shooting while in the ambulance on the way to the hospital.


“What could we have done to make people hate us so much?” Pacella asked. “Why do people hate the media? What could have done to deserve this?”

The suspect has been identified as 38-year-old Jarrod Ramos. 

He reportedly held a long-running grudge against the paper over a column about a criminal harassment charge against him. He filed an unsuccessful defamation lawsuit against the Capital Gazette in 2012 that was later thrown out.

The suspect has been charged with five counts of first-degree murder. 

Pacella said she’s not having second thoughts about remaining in journalism after the shooting. 

“I want to be a journalist,” Pacella said. “It’s who I am.”

Crime reporter Phil Davis added that he didn’t want to lose his involvement in the industry.

“When you get attached to this industry, it becomes such an intricate part of your life, something that you really can’t lose and something that people can’t take away from you,” Davis said.

The staff of the Capital Gazette rallied together to put out a print edition of the paper the day after the shooting, featuring the crime on the front page.

They wrote a thank-you letter on Sunday to those who have offered support.

“We will never forget Rob Hiaasen, Gerald Fischman, Wendi Winters, John McNamara or Rebecca Smith, our five co-workers who were gunned down in a senseless attack,” the staff wrote.

“But we also will always remember the bells of St. Anne’s ringing as members of our staff — past and present — walked down Main Street surrounded by thousands who turned out to support us in a march to City Dock.” 

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