Home Community News Capital Gazette journalists recount horrific Annapolis mass shooting

Capital Gazette journalists recount horrific Annapolis mass shooting

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As Thursday’s mass shooting at the Capital Gazette played out on cable news and social media, the journalists caught in the newspaper’s Annapolis, Md., offices shared the horror of what they had witnessed. In one instance, an intern at the paper did so in real time.

Anthony Messenger@amesscapgaz

Active shooter 888 Bestgate please help us

Phil Davis, the Capital Gazette’s courts and crime reporter, did his best to take stock of the carnage he witnessed that left at least five people dead and several gravely wounded.

A single shooter shot multiple people at my office, some of whom are dead.

Phil Davis@PhilDavis_CG
Gunman shot through the glass door to the office and opened fire on multiple employees. Can’t say much more and don’t want to declare anyone dead, but it’s bad.

Phil Davis@PhilDavis_CG

There is nothing more terrifying than hearing multiple people get shot while you’re under your desk and then hear the gunman reload

In a later interview with the Gazette’s parent company, the Baltimore Sun, Davis reflected further on what he had been through.

“I’m a police reporter. I write about this stuff — not necessarily to this extent, but shootings and death — all the time,” Davis said. “But as much as I’m going to try to articulate how traumatizing it is to be hiding under your desk, you don’t know until you’re there and you feel helpless.”

In a national environment in which President Trump routinely attacks the integrity of reporters, as he did at a North Dakota rally on Wednesday night, some of the tweets written in the aftermath of the shooting, like those posted byJimmy DeButts, a Capital Gazette editor, referenced the negative public perception of journalism.

Jimmy DeButts@jd3217

Devastated & heartbroken. Numb. Please stop asking for information/interviews. I’m in no position to speak, just know @capgaznews reporters & editors give all they have every day. There are no 40 hour weeks, no big paydays – just a passion for telling stories from our communty.

Jimmy DeButts@jd3217

We are there in times of tragedy. We do our best to share the stories of people, those who make our community better. Please understand, we do all this to serve our community.

Jimmy DeButts@jd3217

We try to expose corruption. We fight to get access to public records & bring to light the inner workings of government despite major hurdles put in our way. The reporters & editors put their all into finding the truth. That is our mission. Will always be.

Jimmy DeButts@jd3217

Jimmy DeButts@jd3217

We are there in times of tragedy. We do our best to share the stories of people, those who make our community better. Please understand, we do all this to serve our community.

As yet, the motive for the shooting remains unclear. The suspect, who is now in police custody, is a described as a white male who is thought to have purposefully damaged his fingertips to avoid fingerprint identification, CBS News reports. Police also discovered smoke bombs and flash bang grenades in his backpack, according to CBS News.