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Capital Gazette Shooting Is The Largest Mass Shooting Of Journalists In America

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Vandana Rambaran Political Reporter

The shooting at the Capital Gazette newsroom on Thursday marks the largest mass shooting with journalist fatalities in the United States.

The shooter killed five people and injured several more at the Annapolis, Maryland, news outlet. (RELATED: Shots Fired In Maryland Newsroom, Multiple Fatalities Reported)

Prior to this incident, 10 journalists have been shot to death in the U.S. since 1992 in separate, work-related instances, according Committee to Protect Journalists data.

The largest casualty incident involving journalists was the 1910 bombing at the Los Angeles Times. The explosion started a fire that killed 21 employees at the newspaper and injured 100 others. The newspaper regarded it two days later as an “awful pit of death.”

In 1992, Cuban-American journalist Manuel de Dios Unanue, former editor of El Diario/La Prensa was shot in the head in a New York City restaurant. Unanue wrote extensively about drug and money laundering operations in the city, and police believed that motivated dozens of drug-traffickers and businessmen to murder him.

In 1993, Haitian-born Dona St. Plite, a reporter for the Miami-based radio station WKAT, was murdered at a benefit for one of his colleagues, according to CPJ. His name was on a hit list for supporting ousted Haitian president Jean-Bertrand Aristide.

In 2000, an e-mail newsletter editor, James Richards, who covered the high-crime neighborhood of Oakwood, California, was shot to death at 4:15 a.m. near his home. His death was never solved, but seemed to be motivated by enemies of his activism, according to local councilwoman Ruth Galanter.   

Two journalists were killed in 2001. The first was on September 11, when freelance news photographer William Biggart went to ground zero to cover the tragedy. His body was found days later in the rubble.

The second was a photo editor, Robert Stevens at The Sun in Florida. He died after inhaling anthrax that was mailed to several journalists across the country by a government researcher who wanted to expose America’s vulnerability to anthrax attacks.

In 2007, Chauncey Bailey, editor-in-chief of the Oakland Post, was shot to death by a gunman who was later identified as a worker at a local bakery. The gunman turned himself over to authorities and admitted that he was upset about Bailey’s coverage of the bakery.

In 2015, two journalists, Adam Ward and Alison Parker, were covering the 50th anniversary of Smith Mountain Lake in Virginia when they were both shot and killed by a former employee.

In 2016, Jacinto Hernández Torres, a freelance contributor to several Spanish news publications, was shot to death in Texas. His body was found after several days, and his daughter told police that he had been working on a few sensitive stories on illegal immigration and human trafficking, which could have caused someone to kill him, according to CPJ.

Earlier this year, in May, a YouTube vlogger, Zachary Stoner was repeatedly threatened and harassed for his coverage of a teenage girl who died in September 2017. He was later shot to death and his murder remains unsolved.

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