They saved us.
What more can you say about the police officers who arrived at our Annapolis offices Thursday afternoon knowing there was a gunman waiting for them inside ready to kill again?
What more can you say about Anne Arundel County Deputy Chief Bill Krampf, who coordinated the massive response to Bestgate Road by multiple police agencies?
What can you say about the officer who carried one of our reporters across the broken glass of our front door, shattered with a shotgun blast by a man determined to kill us? Or the ones who captured that evil man as he was trying to hide after the gunfire ended?
They saved us.
We question police and fire department decisions all the time, itís part of our job. Weíve written stories that havenít gone down well with police leadership or the rank and file. We certainly know the Anne Arundel prosecutorís office finds fault with us some days. Some readers may assume we donít admire and respect police officers and firefighters because we donít take what they say on blind faith.
We donít look for stories to embarrass anyone, but we wonít shy away from reporting the news that puts someone in a negative light.
Weíll do it again; you can count on it.
But not today.
We offered our thanks to the entire community for rallying around us. Today, we offer something more profound: Thanks to the people whose bravery, professionalism and preparation saved our lives.
Thank you to the men and women of Anne Arundel County Police and Fire Departments, the Annapolis Police Department and all the other law enforcement agencies who saved the survivors of the murderous rampage in our newsroom. Thank you for taking care of our five friends who did not make it home that day. Thank you to the prosecutors who went into the office to start their work.
We understand how difficult your job is. We understand that some days we make your job more difficult.
Thank you for saying that this was different because you know us. You knew them.
Weíre still struggling to move forward. Conversation helps, but it would be a lie to say we wonít be changed by all of this.
Thank you to Jen Corbin of Crisis Response and police Lt. Steve Thomas for helping us see this and move forward.
We hope youíre okay, too.
We know what you found in the office we filled with hard work and the friendships that come with being part of a small team.
We want you to remember the handshakes and warm greetings we always offered anyone who came to our office.
Weíll be up and running in a new home soon. When we are we hope youíll come by again.
The first thing weíll say is thank you.