Former Washington-Baltimore Newspaper Guild member Robert Hiaasen, 59, among murder victims in newspaper mass shooting
ANNAPOLIS, Md. (PAI)—Former Washington-Baltimore Newspaper Guild member Robert Hiaasen, 59, an editor at the Annapolis Capital Gazette, was one of five murder victims in the latest U.S. mass shooting, when a 38-year-old gunman with a grudge opened fire with a shotgun at the paper on June 28. In years of mass shootings, it was the first at a newspaper.
Hiaasen was a Guild member while working as a reporter and columnist for the Baltimore Sun for 15 years before moving to the Annapolis paper. The Capital Gazette is Sun subsidiary. The Sun is unionized, but its subsidiaries, including the Annapolis paper, are not.
Angie Kuhl, retired Sun unit chair for WBNG, also reported a “go fund me” social media drive has started to help the families of Hiaasen and the four other victims: Reporter Wendi Winters, sales assistant Rebecca Smith, reporter John McNamara and another editor, Gerald Fischman. Two other people were slightly injured, treated at local hospitals and released.
Gunman Jerrod Ramos had a grudge against the paper after losing a defamation case in 2015, police said. He first shot through the paper’s front glass door, then walked inside. He also carried canisters with smoke grenades he used. In response, major cities beefed up police protection at their papers. Questions arose on social media whether the shooting was politically motivated, given GOP President Donald Trump’s open hate of the mass media. ###