September 28, 2021

The shooter who killed five people at the (Annapolis, Maryland) Capital Gazette in 2018 has been sentenced to six life sentences, five without the possibility of parole, according to reporting from Alex Mann and Lilly Price for the Capital Gazette.

Mann and Price report:

Judge Michael Wachs handed down the sentence after hearing from survivors of the mass shooting and the family members of Gerald Fischman, Rob Hiaasen, John McNamara, Rebecca Smith and Wendi Winters, who died in the attack.

‘To say the defendant showed a callous and cruel disregard for the sanctity of human life is simply an understatement,’ Wachs said before announcing his sentence. ‘What I impose is what the defendant deserves.’

The Capital Gazette staff was part of 2018’s Person of the Year from Time Magazine, which honored “The Guardians.” Capital Gazette staff also received a 2019 Special Citation from the Pulitzer Prize board.

In June, several staff members who worked at the Alden Global Capital newspaper during the shooting took buyouts (after several others took buyouts in 2020). Also in June, survivors and families of the victims filed lawsuits against The Baltimore Sun and its parent company for not protecting employees before the attack. On June 28, a Guardians of the First Amendment Memorial was dedicated in Annapolis to memorialize Fischman, Hiaasen, McNamara, Smith and Winters.

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Kristen Hare teaches local journalists the critical skills they need to serve and cover their communities as Poynter's local news faculty member. Before joining faculty…
Kristen Hare

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