The Capital Gazette Published As Promised, The One Blank Page Is Heartbreaking

Ryan Pickrell | China/Asia Pacific Reporter

The Capital Gazette published a paper the day after a gunman killed five of its staffers, but one nearly blank page was particularly heartbreaking.

Suspect, Jarrod Warren Ramos, opened fire on the Annapolis, Maryland, newspaper Thursday afternoon with a “long gun,” killing five and injuring several others in a tragic event recognized as a the largest mass shooting of journalists in America. (RELATED: Capital Gazette Shooting Is The Largest Mass Shooting Of Journalists In America)

As the reporters and editors grieved, they remained undeterred in their mission to report the news. (RELATED: Defiant Capital Gazette Journalist: ‘We Are Putting Out A Damn Paper Tomorrow’)

As promised, the Capital Gazette came out Friday.

But, one page — the opinion section — was left almost completely blank. It simply said, “Today, we are speechless.”

The names of the five victims — Rebecca Smith, John McNamara, Gerald Fischman, Robert Hiaasen, and Wendi Winters — were listed below a sentence explaining that the page was “intentionally left blank” to “commemorate” the victims of Thursday’s shooting.

Beneath the list of the victims was the following note:

Tomorrow this page will return to its steady purpose of offering our readers informed opinion about the world around them, that they might be better citizens.

“[Capital Gazette] reporters [and] editors give all they have every day,” Capital editor Jimmy DeButts wrote on Twitter. “There are no 40 hour weeks, no big paydays – just a passion for telling stories from our [community].” Capital Gazette reporters actually published a story on the shooting on their digital platform as details unfolded Thursday.

Ramos, who has had a long-standing grudge against the Annapolis paper, was arrested and charged with five counts of first-degree murder, according to the Baltimore Sun, which owns the Capital Gazette.

Phil Davis, a Capital Gazette crime reporter, told the Baltimore Sun that the shooting “was like a war zone,” a horrific scene that would be “hard to describe for a while.”

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