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Survivors of a 2018 newsroom massacre in Maryland recounted the harrowing details of the deadly ordeal in court on Friday.
“I thought we were going to die,” former Capital Gazette intern Anthony Messenger testified in an Annapolis courtroom during the trial of gunman Jarrod Ramos, according to reports.
Other survivors recounted hiding under desks, seeing colleagues shot and the sights and sounds of the shotgun blasts, shells falling and Ramos reloading his weapon.
Ramos has pleaded guilty but not criminally responsible because of his mental health to killing five people in the newspaper’s offices in June 2018.
Messenger is one of six survivors who testified Friday.
“I was waiting to die, and so I was praying,” said another witness, former reporter Selena San Felice.
“[Ramos] was walking very purposefully, very methodically,” said advertising executive Janel Cooley.
She recounted that one of her colleagues, Wendi Winter, charged Ramos with a trash can in one hand and a recycling can in the other.
Ramos shot and killed Winter then kept moving, Cooley said.
The four other victims were Gerald Fischman, Rob Hiaasen, John McNamara and Rebecca Smith.
Ramos pleaded guilty to all 23 counts against him in 2019. His defense now has the burden of proof to show it’s likely that Ramos is not criminally responsible.
Prosecutors hope to show that Ramos understood his actions and the consequences of what they say was a long-planned attack.
If the defense can prove Ramos is not criminally responsible, the shooter will be committed to a maximum-security psychiatric hospital instead of prison.
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