Capital Gazette staffers: Reporter killed in shooting charged the gunman

Capital Gazette staffers: Reporter killed in shooting charged the gunman
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Staffers at the Capital Gazette said one of the reporters killed in the shooting at their newsroom last month charged the gunman, likely saving their lives.

The Capital Gazette reported Saturday that Wendi Winters held a trash can and recycling bin as she stormed the shooter at the newspaper’s offices.

Janel Cooley, a sales associate for the paper and survivor of the shooting, said Winters yelled something like “No! You stop that!” or “You get out of here!” at the gunman.

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“She may have distracted him enough that he forgot about me, because I definitely stood up and was looking at the door,” Cooley told the paper. “I’m sure he wasn’t expecting … anyone to charge him.”

Other witnesses also said Winters likely saved their lives. Eleven people were in the office during the shooting; five were killed, including Winters.

The reporter had participated in active shooter training at her church weeks earlier, according to the newspaper. At the training, the police officer instructing the course gave trainees three options, "Run if you can run. Hide if you can hide. Fight only if you must," the Gazette reported.

Winters’s son, Phoenix Geimer, told the Gazette that his mother’s actions during the shooting “sounds like her.”

“She’s got four kids — she’s not going to take it from anyone,” Geimer said.

Five people were killed in the shooting at the Annapolis, Md., newspaper last month.

The suspect in the shooting, 38-year-old Jarrod Ramos, had sued the paper for defamation but the case was tossed out of court. He also reportedly sent threatening letters to the Gazette before the attack.