Capital Gazette shooting victims demand gun control action from Trump: ‘Our whole lives have been shattered’

'I’m going to need more than a couple days of news coverage and some thoughts and prayers,' the Capital Gazette reporter says

Chris Riotta
New York
Friday 29 June 2018 16:17 BST
Capital Gazette writer Selene San Felice says her life has been shattered after witnessing the attack

Capital Gazette writer Selene San Felice says her life was "shattered" immediately after a gunman opened fire on their newsroom in Maryland, and that she "couldn't give a f***” about Donald Trump's "prayers" if they don’t coincide with action.

Mr Trump tweeted his condolences to the victims of the latest mass shooting in America, this time occurring in a small community newspaper's offices, writing "my thoughts and prayers are with the victims and their families.” But to Ms San Felice, who had just witnessed her coworkers killed in gun violence, the president's prayers were not enough.

"I'm going to need more than a couple days of news coverage and some thoughts and prayers, because our whole lives have been shattered,” the journalist told CNN’s Anderson Cooper on Thursday night. “So, thanks for your prayers, but I couldn’t give a f**k about them if there’s nothing else.”

Five people were killed in the Capital Gazette offices after Jarrod Warren Ramos, who had a longstanding feud with the newspaper, allegedly used a long gun to carry out the attack.

The victims included Rob Hiaasen, an assistant editor, Gerald Fischman, the editorial page editor, John McNamara, who worked at the paper for over 20 years in various capacities, Rebecca Smith, a recently-hired sales assistant, and Wendi Winters, an editor and community reporter.

"I reported on Pulse," Ms San Felice said. "I remember being so upset hearing about the victims who were texting their families, and there I was sitting under a desk texting my parents telling them I love them," she said, referring to the attack on a gay nightclub in Orlando in 2016, in which a gunman shot 49 people dead.

Under Mr Trump, the US has not passed any major comprehensive gun control legislation despite the ongoing increase in violent attacks on public spaces.

The Capital Gazette shooting marked the 154th mass shooting in the US this year – nearly one a day. Nearly 11,000 Americans die from gun violence a year, and 7,000 have already been killed this year, according to data from the Gun Violence Archive.

Mr Ramos was charged with five counts of first-degree murder after his alleged killing spree was stopped by law enforcement, which responded in 60 to 90 seconds. The suspect was found hiding in another area of the office underneath a desk when he was apprehended.

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