With the verdict finding Capital Gazette shooter Jarrod Ramos criminally responsible for killing five members of the newspaper’s staff, members of the Capital Gazette are reacting with a sigh of relief that justice has been done.
Joshua McKerrow, a photojournalist who was with the Gazette, reflected on the best qualities of the five victims.
“Rebecca Smith was kind and helpful and had a smile you could feel across the room,” McKerrow wrote on Twitter. “And Wendi Winters, mother of 4, fashion model, writer, editor, scout leader, president of her father’s WW2 era USNA class, on and on, glowed with humor and love and empathy. She was the best.”
Rob Hiassen had a beloved family and decorated his office with their artwork.
— Joshua McKerrow (@joshuamckerrow) July 15, 2021
“Gerald Fischman was maybe the smartest person I’ve ever known, and he wrote love poems to his wife,” McKerrow said.
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Selene San Felice, a reporter for Axios and formerly of the Gazette, has taken time in the year and a half to educate other journalists on how to report on traumatic events without causing more harm to the victims of those events.
In the wake of the verdict, San Felice tweeted a simple instruction to those covering or tweeting about the story.
Never show his face again.
— Selene San Felice (@SeleneSanFelice) July 15, 2021
In an article written for Poynter, San Felice points out that seeing the face of the person responsible for a traumatic event on a social media post can be incredibly painful, especially when they aren’t expecting it.
“When I’m trying to go about my day and the face of the man who killed my colleagues and almost killed me pops up on my social media feed or on TV, it feels like a bucket of ice water has been dumped on my head,” Felice wrote for Poynter. “There are photos from each memorial and vigil, photos of us in the newsroom, photos of my colleagues reporting on the shooting from the mall parking garage. You don’t need his face to tell our story.”
Erin Hardy, editor for the Howard County Times and formerly with the Capital Gazette, put it succinctly:
Thank fucking goodness https://t.co/0awYo2sgnF
— Erin Hardy (@iamerinhardy) July 15, 2021
Former Gazette staffer Danielle Ohl said the staff had been waiting for closure.
Thank you to everyone for your kind messages. I’ll answer when I can.
Just like three years ago when the shooting happened, your support for us and our paper means more than you could ever know.
We’ve been waiting three years for this day.
Thank God this is finally over.
— Danielle Ohl (@DTOhl) July 15, 2021