(Reuters) - Five newspaper employees, four of them journalists, were killed on Thursday in a Maryland newsroom when a gunman opened fire in what police said was a targeted attack on the offices of the Capital Gazette group in Annapolis, the state capital.
Here are brief profiles of the victims, identified by law enforcement hours after the shooting:
Hiassen, 59, brother of best-selling author Carl Hiaasen, joined The Capital, the group’s flagship title, in 2010 as assistant editor after working as a reporter at the Baltimore Sun for 15 years. Before that, he was a staff reporter at the Palm Beach Post and news anchor and reporter for radio stations across the South.
The Fort Lauderdale native was also a columnist for The Capital, and his pieces appeared in the paper’s Life section every Sunday. According to the Baltimore Sun, he and his wife Maria, with whom he had three children, had celebrated their 33rd anniversary just days before he was killed.
The editor of the Bowie Blade-News and Crofton-West Country Gazette newspapers, McNamara worked for the Capital Gazette organisation for more than two decades. An avid sports fan, he wrote extensively about the topic and was the author of two books about his alma mater, the University of Maryland, the Baltimore Sun said. A married man, he loved local history and enjoyed rock and folk music.
A reporter and columnist for The Capital, Winters had worked at the paper since 2002, often providing her own photos and video to accompany her stories. The New York native had worked as a public relations consultant for many years in addition to her journalism, according to her social media postings.
Winters, 65, was a “Navy mom” and a volunteer with the Girl Scouts and the Red Cross, according to her Twitter and LinkedIn accounts.
On Facebook Winters described herself as having “Peter Pan DNA, blended with some extroverted introversion, sprinkled with proper punctuation marks and served half-baked with a Manhattan attitude.”
Fischman, 61, of Pasadena, Maryland, was the editor of the editorial page and worked at The Capital for over 25 years. According to the Baltimore Sun, Fischman was “the guardian against libel, the arbiter of taste and a peculiar and an endearing figure in a newsroom full of characters.”
Married to a Mongolian opera singer, Fischman graduated from the journalism school at the University of Maryland in 1979.
Smith, 34, recently joined the Capital Gazette as a sales assistant. She was described in a profile by the Baltimore Sun as being “thoughtful” and “kind and considerate.” A Baltimore native, she lived with her fiancé in east Baltimore County and worked in marketing before joining the Gazette.
Reporting by Tea Kvetenadze in New York; Editing by Frank McGurty, Toni Reinhold