ANNAPOLIS, Md. (WJZ) –Family members and survivors say justice has finally been served
two months after his conviction. Tuesday, The Capital Gazette Shooter was sentenced to five consecutive life sentences without the possibility of parole.
For those families and survivors, this sentencing comes after three prolonged years.READ MORE: Maryland Weather: Warm With A Chance Of Storms
“I don’t think there’s ever going to be any closure,” said photojournalist and survivor Paul Gillespie.
Paul Gillespie remembers the day of the attack like it was yesterday.
“I lost five of my family members. I was almost killed myself. It’s something that haunts me. Every day, I think about this,” said Gillespie.
Gillespie narrowly escaped the day a gunman stormed inside the capital gazette newsroom and opened fire three years ago. Gerald Fischman, Rob Hiaasen, John McNamara, Rebecca Smith and Wendi Winters were killed.
“This is a lifelong pain that we’re all carrying,” said the widow of John McNamara, Andrea Chamblee.
Tuesday, the legal proceedings all came to an end when the judge handed down the maximum penalty.
Five life sentences behind bars without parole, a sixth sentence for the attempted murder of Gillespie,
and an additional 345 years.
“The judge is crystal clear that Jarrod Ramos should not be allowed to walk out of prison ever,“ said Anne Arundel County State’s Attorney Anne Colt Leitess.
Inside the courtroom, survivors and victims talked about how that day changed their lives forever.READ MORE: Holiday Traveling Should Be Done Early As COVID Still Affects Travel Says AAA
Reporter Selene San Felice says she hid under a desk during the 2018 shooting and eventually escaped.
Tuesday, she came face to face with the shooter.
“It meant a lot to me to be able to tell him to his face that he failed,” said San Felice.
The gunman pleaded guilty in 2019. His defense argued he was not mentally stable when he carried out the attack but prosecutors struck that down, saying he methodically planned it after the newspaper wrote a story about him.
On the day of the massacre, they say he locked the doors so victims couldn’t escape.
“It brings us solace that the person that took her from us will never breathe freedom again,” said Montana Winters Geimer, the daughter of Wendi Winters.
A brazen act that left a scar on survivors and the families of the five victims and although the trial may be over, the pain will never fade.
“I am happy and relieved to say that it’s finally time that I can begin the process of trying to heal from everything going on,” said Cindi Rittenour, the sister of Rebecca Smith.
“We ran out of time with our mother. She’s gone, she was taken from us. Going forward every single day will feel her absence,” said Winter Geimer.MORE NEWS: Morgan Student Shot During Homecoming Weekend Expected To Make Full Recovery
The States Attorney said the gunman is expected to immediately be sent to prison where he will be under 23 hours of lockdown a day.