The four journalists and a sales assistant killed Thursday in a shooting at a Maryland newspaper are being remembered by colleagues for their kindness and work ethic.
Authorities said the gunman entered the Capital Gazette in Annapolis and “looked for his victims.”
Police identified the employees as:
- Gerald Fischman.
- Rob Hiaasen.
- John McNamara.
- Rebecca Smith.
- Wendi Winters.
Two other employees were injured in the attack.
Fischman, the editorial page editor at the Capital Gazette, and who had worked at the paper for 26 years, was an “old-fashioned journalist,” a former editor of the paper said.
Steve Gunn remembered Fischman as “the master of AP style” who “made sure everything was just right.”
“He was famous for working long days and being very precise in his language and always making sure the editorial page reflected the heart of the newspaper,” Gunn told The Associated Press.
Hiaasen’s family is “devastated” by his death, said his brother, author Carl Hiaasen.
The prolific novelist and a longtime columnist for the Miami Herald confirmed that his brother, also a columnist and an editor, was one of the victims.
Carl Hiaasen said in a phone interview that his family “was devastated beyond words” by the senseless killing.
“He was the most remarkable person. So gifted and talented and dedicated to journalism,” he said, his voice choked with emotion.
Saying he was too full of grief to speak further, Hiaasen referred an Associated Press reporter to a post on his Facebook page in which he described Rob as one of the most “gentle and funny people I’ve ever known.”
Gunn said Rob Hiaasen was a “gifted editor who had an aura of an artist around him who made people want to make journalism a beautiful craft.”
McNamara was a longtime staff writer. Gunn said McNamara was workmanlike — “classic come to work and tell me what I need to do.”
Smith, a sales assistant, was a thoughtful person who made sure the sales office ran smoothly, said her boss, Capital Gazette advertising director Marty Padden.
“She was kind and considerate, and willing to help when needed. She seemed to really enjoy to be working in the media business,” Padden told the Baltimore Sun.
Winters, a special publications editor, was “the heart of the newspaper,” Gunn said.
She was passionate about serving the community and a role model for younger journalists, he recalled.
“She was in many ways the best part of the newspaper in that she cared so much about the city.”