Slain Reporter Charged The Gunman, Saved Lives

Staff say Wendi Winters' decision to confront the man who opened fire in their office prevented him from shooting others.

In the moments after a gunman opened fire upon the newsroom of the Capital Gazette on June 28, reporter Wendi Winters grabbed a rubbish bin, a recycling bin and charged the shooter, according to surviving staff members who described the ordeal to the newspaper.

"I absolutely think that Wendi Winters saved my life," Rachael Pacella said in an interview for the Capital Gazette.

Janel Cooley, a sales consultant, told the newspaper that she watched from beneath her desk as the 65-year-old ran toward the shooter, shouting something like, "No! You stop that!" or "You get out of here!"

Wendi Winters, reporter for the Capital Gazette. Image: The Baltimore Sun via AP

The Capital Gazette reports that Winters, a 20-year newspaper veteran, had previously taken an active shooter training class in which she was taught that distracting the shooter can save lives.

Six of the 11 people present in the office when the shooter, who police suspect is 38-year-old Jarrod Ramos, survived.

Ramos was charged with five counts of first-degree murder. He is being held without bond.

Rick Hutzell, right, the editor for Capital Gazette, is joined by staff, as he rings a bell during a moment of silence. Image: the Baltimore Sun via AP

Ramos appears to have had a years-long grudge against the newspaper stemming from a legal dispute after the paper reported on accusations by a woman who said Ramos harassed her for months, calling her employer and trying to get her fired.

The woman eventually went to the police and Ramos pleaded guilty to a misdemeanour charge of harassment in 2011.