Community Responds to Gazette Shootings

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By Brigette White, Special to the AFRO

On June 28 five members of the journalism community were killed in the 888 Bestgate office building in the newsroom of the Capital Gazette headquarters in Annapolis Maryland.

A gunman shot his way through the Capital Gazette newsroom Thursday afternoon in Annapolis, Md., killing five people using a shotgun and injuring two, authorities said.

A makeshift memorial is seen outside the office building of The Capital Gazette newspaper in Annapolis, Md. (Photo Credit: Brigette White)

“There is nothing more terrifying than hearing multiple people get shot while you’re under your desk and then hear the gunman reload,” Phil Davis, a Capital Gazette crime reporter, tweeted after the shooting.

The attack began around 2:40 p.m. at the Capital Gazette offices at 888 Bestgate Road in Annapolis, The Baltimore Sun reported. County police confirmed the presence of the active shooter at 3:16 p.m. via Twitter.

The suspect was identified as Jarrod Ramos, a Laurel resident. Ramos, 38, had a long-running feud with the paper.

Two memorials are set for the slain. One at the street corner of Bestgate Road and Commerce Park Drive and the other in front of the 888 Bestgate office building on Cornell Ave.

Despite the inevitably heavy hearts, there’s also heavy police surveillance of the area, which has most residents and workers comfortable with performing their daily routines.

The AFRO spoke with various people in Annapolis and nearby municipalities about the events.

Micheal Le, worker in nearby shopping center, Annapolis, MD July 2, 2018

  1. Do you feel unsafe after having the most recent shooting spree happen in your backyard?

“No. There is an increase in police presence so I feel safe. I think it was a freak incident and that it hopefully won’t happen again.”

  1. Do you feel reforming how United States citizens access guns will prevent more mass shootings?

“Yes. I have mixed feelings about it. I used to live in Texas and everyone has a gun there. I heard the shooter had a record. I think having a Psychological evaluation and just a longer process to obtain a gun would help.”

Latana Allen, Upper Marlboro MD,  shopping in Macy’s,  Annapolis Mall on July 2, 2018

  1. Do you feel unsafe after having the most recent shooting spree happen in your backyard?

“Not really.  It is all in God’s plan. There is no need to walk around and be fearful,  but you should  pay attention to people around you. I travel a lot, now that I’m retired, and I don’t let things stop me from enjoying life. “

  1. Do you feel reforming how United States citizens access guns will prevent more mass shootings?

“Yes. I do think we should have better gun laws. I think we should have much better background checks. A lot of the people have mental issues and they are still allowed to purchase guns. “

Thomas Squire,(Brother of reporter, Brigette Squire) Bachelor Degree in Journalism and Communication, Silver Spring MD July 2, 2018

  1. Do you feel unsafe after having the most recent shooting spree happen in your backyard?

“I feel more aware but not unsafe. I don’t think anything has changed. If you let mass shootings consume you, you won’t go anywhere.”

  1. Do you feel reforming how United States citizens access guns will prevent more mass shootings?

“No. I think people having compassion for each other will prevent mass shootings. People already have guns now. Changing laws may affect the distant future. If we don’t get more comprehensive background checks and stricter gun laws though,  these incidents will continue to happen.”

  1. Do you feel the media is under attack?

“Yes. I do think that with the way our government officials have behaved over social media and in public that media has become a target. Statements such as “fake news” diminish the validity of professions who are doing their job.”