Surviving the Mass Shooting at the Capital Gazette Newspaper : Embedded In a new four-part series, Embedded listeners will get to know the surviving staff of The Capital Gazette newspaper in Annapolis, MD, where a gunman murdered five people in June 2018.
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Coming Soon: The Capital Gazette

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Coming Soon: The Capital Gazette

Coming Soon: The Capital Gazette

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KELLY MCEVERS, HOST:

One day in the summer of 2018, at a small newspaper in Annapolis, Md., the staff was doing what they do. One reporter was writing the annual guide to local government agencies, another was putting out the results of a primary election. And then right in the middle of the day, a man with a gun shot his way into their office and killed five people. Hours later, one of the survivors, Selene San Felice, was on CNN.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

ANDERSON COOPER: Selene, where were you, and what did you first hear?

SELENE SAN FELICE: I mean, I remember I was working at my desk when I heard the shots. And it took a couple...

MCEVERS: First, she tells Anderson Cooper her story. Then at one point, she sort of interrupts herself and says this terrible truth about mass shootings.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

SAN FELICE: This is going to be a story for how many days? Less than a week. People will forget about us after a week.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

MCEVERS: People will forget about us. Selene was saying this nine months after the shooting at a concert in Las Vegas, four months after the high school shooting in Parkland, Fla. She knew how this was going to go.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

SAN FELICE: And I just don't know what I want right now, right? But I'm going to need more than a couple days of news coverage and some thoughts and prayers because it's - our whole lives have been shattered.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

MCEVERS: So what does happen to people like Selene after the news coverage ends? To answer that, we spent two years reporting on the staff at her newspaper, the Capital Gazette. We wanted to know what's it like to go back to work?

UNIDENTIFIED PERSON #1: Chase (ph) asked me something like, we are putting out a paper tomorrow, right? And I remember saying it, like, a little defensively and, like, just a little angrily - like, I was like, yes, we are putting out a paper tomorrow.

UNIDENTIFIED PERSON #2: What if someone's sending us more death threats, or what if somebody sends me a death threat and I don't see it and then somebody comes and kills all my friends and it's my fault because I didn't read the email?

MCEVERS: What's it like to cover a story you were the subjects of?

UNIDENTIFIED PERSON #3: You know, half the editorial staff died - or maybe a third. And then who else could do it? None of the reporters could because they're witnesses.

UNIDENTIFIED PERSON #4: I can't think of another situation where journalists have covered an attack on their own newsroom.

MCEVERS: How does it feel to sit in the same courtroom as the man accused of shooting your friends?

UNIDENTIFIED PERSON #5: It's not like I was afraid of him, but just kind of like, you know, this is the person who has changed our lives and so many other lives, you know, forever. And he's going to be right there.

MCEVERS: And how do you figure out how to keep going?

UNIDENTIFIED PERSON #6: I think that a lot of it was about looking each other in the eye and saying, it's OK that we're alive.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

MCEVERS: That's coming Thursday on EMBEDDED from NPR.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

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