Capital Gazette Employees Remembered At Vigil

Jun 30, 2018
Originally published on July 1, 2018 1:17 am
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SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

In Annapolis, Md., last night, residents held a candlelight vigil to remember five employees of the Capital Gazette who were killed in a mass shooting on Thursday. NPR's Jeff Brady was there.

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JEFF BRADY, BYLINE: People met near the historic Maryland State House. Before the candles were lit, Mary Arnett was holding an 8-inch candle that had clearly been burned before.

MARY ARNETT: A few months ago, I used this candle for a vigil for a young man who was murdered in the streets of East Baltimore. And here I am again with the same exact candle for more murders. We cannot get to the end of this candle. Something has got to be done. Something has got to change. We cannot light a new candle. We just can't.

BRADY: The retired special education teacher didn't mention specific policy changes, only that she wants the current level of gun violence to end. The most moving moment came when four Capital Gazette employees asked to read the names of their dead colleagues. They stood, arms around each other. One of them had visible scars on her face. Reporter Phil Davis took the microphone.

PHIL DAVIS: The reason we, you know, want to say the names is because we're - we are not going to forget them, and we don't want other people to forget them. And they're Rebecca Smith, Rob Hiaasen, Wendi Winters, Gerald Fischman and John McNamara.

BRADY: Then the crowd left the State House and walked toward Main Street. Trudy McFall carried a sign that read, we are heartbroken. She's a volunteer member of the Capital Gazette editorial board. McFall says it was only by chance that she wasn't in the office when the shooting happened.

TRUDY MCFALL: Thursday was the only day for months that I wasn't sitting in that room at 2:30 in the afternoon because the editor, Rick Hutzell, was on vacation, so we didn't meet. So it hits home in so many ways.

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BRADY: On Main Street, people lined both sides, candles lit. In the middle of the street, two boys held a banner that read, Annapolis Strong. In front of them, a girl played "Amazing Grace." Jeff Brady, NPR News, Annapolis, Md.

(SOUNDBITE OF LOWERCASE NOISES' "THE LAST STAGE OF CONSUMPTION") Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.