Gerald Fischman, 61

Gerald Fischman was the editorial page editor for the Capital, according to a biography on the newspaper's website. He had been an editorial writer for the paper since 1992.

Tom Marquardt, a former executive editor and publisher of the paper, described Fischman as the "perfect editorial writer" — one who could take five imperfect bullet points from overzealous editors and publishers and transform those thoughts into a sharp, intelligent and fair editorial.

"He could have gone to a major metropolitan paper, but he was very content being at a small newspaper," Marquardt said.

Always showing up to the office in a tie and a cardigan sweater, Fischman was a sort of shy, "nerdy guy" who had tried out for "Jeopardy" twice.

In a December 2017 column, Fischman wrote that the newspaper editorial page "may be the best way to read a community's mind."

Rob Hiaasen, 59

Rob Hiaasen was an editor and a features columnist, according to the newspaper's website. He was hired as the assistant editor of the Capital in 2010, according to the biography, and was previously a reporter for the Palm Beach Post and the Baltimore Sun.

"He was dedicated to journalism," his brother, writer Carl Hiaasen, said. "He spent his whole life as a journalist."

Hiaasen mentored a number of young reporters, working with them to improve their writing.

He "treated new reporters like his own children," said Elisha Sauers, a journalist at the Virginian-Pilot who reported for the Capital until 2016.

Hiaasen was also a creative journalist who was attached to finding the narrative arc of a story, Sauers said.

"He was an observer of humanity," Sauers said. "He had this attitude of capturing these precious moments of life. And that really showed through his writing."

John McNamara, 56

John McNamara held a wide range of jobs for the Capital Gazette newsroom over a career there that spanned more than 20 years.

McNamara was a longtime sports reporter and editor, according to his LinkedIn page. More recently, McNamara covered news in Bowie, Md., a town west of Annapolis, and was an editor of two of the Capital Gazette's weekly newspapers.

Sheila Padgett, a resident of Bowie and friend to McNamara, said he single-handedly informed the city's residents about the community's news and politics. "He was the only game in town," Padgett said.

Rebecca Smith, 34

Rebecca Smith was a recently hired sales assistant at the newspaper. She lived in Baltimore County with her fiancé, according to the Baltimore Sun.

"She was a very thoughtful person," Marty Padden, the paper's advertising director, told the Sun. "She was kind and considerate. … She seemed to really enjoy … working in the media business."

Wendi Winters, 65

Wendi Winters covered local news for the Capital and wrote recurring columns like "Home of the Week," according to the newspaper's website.

Winters was first hired as a freelancer, and her byline became so prolific — and her writing so popular among readers — that her freelance fees soon exceeded what a salaried reporter was making, Marquardt said.

"My accountant would come up and say, 'We can't do this,' " he said. So she was eventually hired.

"In the end, she was the heart of the Capital," said Steve Gunn, the Capital Gazette newsroom's editor from 2013 to 2015. "Her community coverage was just remarkable, and it's what people talked about."

New York Times