ANNAPOLIS, Md. (WJZ) — As visitors walk into the Michael E. Busch Annapolis Library, they are greeted with images that tell many stories.
The artist behind the lens is Paul Gillespie. He’s a news photographer who has something in common with every person photographed in the exhibit.READ MORE: Police Respond To Shooting At Owings Mills Shopping Center
“Some of them were in the room with me when the shooting happened,” said Gillespie. “It was horrible, horrible day.”
On June 28, 2018 Gillespie was at work at the Capital Gazette in Annapolis when a gunman walked in.
“And that’s when I heard a loud crash,” says Gillespie. “I briefly stood up and looked towards the front door and that’s when I saw him come in.”
Gillespie said, ” I just curled up in a ball and I started thinking I can’t believe this is happening, and then I was like oh my God this is really happening.”
When the gunman stopped firing, Gillespie took off.
“And as I was running past the Capital sign on the wall, I heard a shotgun go off again and I felt a breeze blow past the back of my head,” says Gillespie.
A photo from inside the newsroom showed his escape over broken glass. His decision to run saved his life.READ MORE: Maryland Weather: Tornado Watch Canceled In Northern Maryland
Gillespie says police later found the shooter hiding under the same desk where Gillespie took cover.
Five people were murdered that day. Gerald Fischman, Rob Hiaasen, John McNamara, Rebecca Smith and Wendi Winters left family and friends behind.
“When these mass shootings happen it doesn’t just affect the people who were killed, it affects their families, it affects the community,” says Gillespie.
Gillespie’s photo project with surviving family members is called “Journalists Matter: Faces of the Capital Gazette”. The exhibit has become a source of healing.
“Everyone of these portrait sessions I feel like was a therapy session for me and the subjects. So it was great, I mean it helped me a lot, I hope It helped them too,” says Gillespie.
Time Magazine named the Capital Gazette staff Persons of The Year, they also won a Pulitzer as they continued to work after their newsroom Was attacked.
“I think I can speak for everybody that we would give it all back just to have none of this ever happen and our people still here,” says Gillespie.MORE NEWS: Mayor Scott Allocates Another $11M Of ARPA Funds To Address Food Insecurity
The exhibit has been extended through the end of August. It’s located at the Anne Arundel County public library at 1410 West Street in Annapolis.