capital gazette shooting survivor feat selene san felice
capital gazette shooting survivor feat selene san felice

We Are All This Maryland Shooting Survivor: I ‘Couldn’t Give a F*ck’ About Thoughts and Prayers

Yesterday’s mass shooting at the Capital Gazette took the lives of five people. Last night, Anderson Cooper spoke to two of the Capital Gazette shooting survivors on Anderson Cooper 360. One of the survivors was beautifully blunt, saying she “couldn’t give a fuck” about thoughts and prayers if there was no action behind them.

The entire interview with the Capital Gazette shooting survivors was tense. When Cooper opened with a greeting of “How are you holding up?” Selene San Felice, a staff writer at the Gazette, replied “Um, I mean, I watched someone die, so not super great.”

San Felice and her fellow staff writer Phil Davis tell Cooper about their experience hiding from the shooter. Near the end of the segment, San Felice doesn’t mince any words. She talks about how, as a journalist, she knows that the Capital Gazette shooting story will be forgotten in a few days, and that she’s surprised that she’s even talking to Cooper.

San Felice said, “I don’t know what I want right now but I’m gonna need more than a couple days of news coverage and some thoughts and prayers. Our whole lives have been shattered. And so, thanks for your prayers, but I couldn’t give a fuck about them if there’s nothing else.”

Watch the Anderson Cooper segment with the Capital Gazette shooting survivors below:

What we know so far about the Capital Gazette shooting

Though it was initially believed the attack on the Capital Gazette, one of the oldest newspapers in the country, was an attack on journalists as a profession, it’s come out that the shooter — who, like Police Chief Timothy Altomare, we’ll be refusing to name —  had a grudge against the paper. The shooter sued the newspaper in 2012 for defamation for reporting on his guilty plea for criminal harassment. His case was dismissed; the judge ruled that the article was based on the public record and the shooter had produced no evidence proving the article was inaccurate.

After the article was published, the shooter began harassing the staff of the Capital Gazette. The publisher at the time, Thomas Marquardt, filed a report with police, who did not pursue the case.  Marquart also contacted the newspaper’s lawyers about filing a restraining order against the shooter, even saying “This is a guy who is going to come in and shoot us.”

The Capital Gazette shooting victims

Five people were killed during yesterday’s mass shooting. Those who were murdered were Gerald Fischman, a Capital Gazette columnist and the Op/Ed editor for the paper; Rob Hiaasen, a weekend columnist and assistant editor; Wendi Winters, the community beat reporter; John McNamara, an editor and sports reporter; Rebecca Smith, a sales assistant.

Two other Gazette staffers, Rachael Pacella, the paper’s education reporter, and Janel Cooley, a sales representative, were injured.

Do you agree with the Capital Gazette shooting survivors that we need action, not just thoughts and prayers?