Capital Gazette publisher: 'We will honor our colleagues' memories by continuing our mission'

Following the attack on the newsroom of the Annapolis Capital Gazette, heartbroken colleagues will pay tribute to the victims by continuing to deliver the news, the publisher and editor-in-chief of The Baltimore Sun Media Group, which includes The Capital, said in a statement Friday morning.

Five employees of the paper were killed, and two others were injured, in a shooting at the paper’s Bestgate Road newsroom Thursday. The suspect, a 38-year-old Laurel man with a longstanding grudge against the Capital, is charged with five counts of first-degree murder.

The victims were identified as Rob Hiaasen, 59, a former feature writer for The Baltimore Sun who joined the Capital Gazette in 2010 as an assistant editor and columnist; Wendi Winters, 65, a community correspondent who headed special publications; Gerald Fischman, 61, the editorial page editor; John McNamara, 56, a staff writer who had covered high school, college and professional sports for decades; and Rebecca Smith, 34, a sales assistant hired in November.

“Our hearts are forever broken. Gerald, Rob, Wendi, John and Rebecca will never be forgotten,” Trif Alatzas said in a statement. “They were not only our colleagues but also our friends. Their loved ones and all those affected by this terrible tragedy will be our focus in the coming days as we all try to process this senseless tragedy.”

“We will honor our colleagues’ memories by continuing our mission delivering the news to the communities we serve and provide our staff with the support they need,” Alatzas said.

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