From the moment gunfire rang out at the Capital Gazette newsroom, journalists there began covering their own tragedy.
An intern at the Annapolis paper tweeted at 2:43 p.m. Thursday that there was an active shooter in the building, located at 888 Bestgate Road.
“Please help us,” Anthony Messenger wrote.
Staff members who were not in the newsroom rushed toward the building, not yet knowing that five of their colleagues had been killed. And once they got the news, they continued to seek information on what led to the deaths of their coworkers and friends.
From outside, Capital photographer Joshua McKerrow took photos of the massive police presence that enveloped the building, which also houses more than two dozen other businesses.
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“Police response for shooting in my newsroom,” he posted as a photo caption on Twitter.
And reporter Phil Davis — once he was evacuated from the newsroom — provided the most detailed account of the massacre he witnessed. His words would end up woven into an article on his newspaper’s website, a place his name typically only appears as a byline.
Davis described the gunman shooting through the glass door of the office before opening fire on multiple employees.
“There is nothing more terrifying than hearing multiple people get shot while you’re under your desk and then hear the gunman reload,” he tweeted.
Davis is a police reporter. He said in an interview that while he writes about shootings and death “all the time,” it’s impossible to know how traumatizing it is to go through such a tragedy “until you’re there.”
Hours after the shooting, Capital reporters promised to continue covering their story.
“I can tell you this,” reporter Chase Cook tweeted. “We are putting out a damn paper tomorrow.”