Journalist Who Died in Capital Gazette Shooting Said to Have Saved Lives of Coworkers

Capital Gazette journalist Wendy Winters, one of five who died when Jarrod Ramos opened fire in their newsroom on June 28, is said to have saved the lives of some coworkers by fighting back against Ramos, a man with a long running vendetta against the paper who was there to kill as many people as possible.

“Just weeks before the gunman’s ruthless rampage, 20-year veteran journalist Wendi Winters took an active shooter training at her church,” Holly Matkin of The Maven said. “During the training, she learned that her last option during an attack would be to fight, and that’s exactly what she did.”

The training taught Winters that creating a distraction could help provide others an opportunity to escape.

According to coworker Janel Cooley, Winters charged toward Ramos with a recycling bin and a trash can.

“She may have distracted him enough that he forgot about me because I definitely stood up and was looking at the door,” Cooley said. “I’m sure he wasn’t expecting… anyone to charge him.”

“I think that Wendi doing what she did served as enough of a distraction that maybe he didn’t see us,” reporter Rachael Pacella told the Capital Gazette. “I absolutely think that Wendi Winters saved my life.”

Former Capital Gazette editor Thomas Marquardt said Ramos harassed the paper for years. Marquardt reported threats from Ramos to police in 2013, but did not file a restraining order or pursue criminal charges for fear it would enrage Ramos even more.