After enduring a targeted shotgun attack inside the newsroom of The Capital last June 28 that claimed the lives of five co-workers, photojournalist Paul W. Gillespie has focused his talents on a project to honor his colleagues.

Gillespie’s work features a series of stunning black and white portrait photographs of the survivors as well as family members – wives and daughters – of those who were murdered that June afternoon at 2:33 p.m. in Annapolis.

“I wanted to show our Capital Gazette journalists who continued to put out the paper in the tough days after the shooting, both old and newer journalists, but I also wanted to represent those we had lost,” Gillespie says in a GoFundMe page set up for the project. “I wanted to get family members of those killed to sit for those who could not.”

Gillespie hopes his project, titled “Journalists Matter: Faces of the Capital Gazette,” raises enough funds for a photography exhibit of the work and more, including a public display in Annapolis or Anne Arundel County at a location to be determined. The money would go toward creating large prints, framing, an opening reception and perhaps a commemorative photo book and traveling exhibit.

“On June 28, 2018, my life and the lives of my Capital Gazette newspaper colleagues – really my family members – changed forever,” Gillespie writes in the GoFundMe summary. “A man armed with a shotgun blasted his way into our newsroom murdering anyone he could see. I dove under my desk, and by the grace of God, he did not see me.

“As he murdered people around me, at first I thought, this can’t really be happening, but it was. Then I thought, I can’t believe I’m going to die.

“During a lull in the shooting, I left my spot and ran for the door he came through, and had to make my way through the horrors in front of me. He chased and shot at me, just missing my head. I got out, I survived, but five of my Capital Gazette family members did not. My life was spared but changed forever.”

Read more from Gillespie and see some of the photographs on his GoFundMe page about the project. As of June 28, the page has raised $14,488 toward a goal of $17,500 to honor Gerald Fischman, Robert Hiaasen, John McNamara, Rebecca Smith and Wendi Winters.

Contact Gillespie at paul@journalistsmatter.com for sponsorship opportunities or to donate directly.

Photo by Paul W. Gillespie, self portrait in his small studio space. No use without permission.

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