Wendi Winters, who was killed in the Capital Gazette shooting, rushed the gunman to allow her colleagues to escape

  • Wendi Winters, 65, picked up a trash can and charged at the gunman who opened fire in the Capital Gazette newsroom on June 28, newsroom staff said.
  • Her son, Phoenix Geimer, told the roughly 700 people who attended a memorial service on Saturday that Winters was "an American hero."
  • Winters along with five other colleagues were killed in the shooting. The gunman faces five counts of murder and is being held without bail.

One of the reporters who died June 28 in a shooting at the Capital Gazette newsroom in Annapolis, Maryland, ambushed the gunman with a trash can in an effort to save her colleagues, her son reportedly said at memorial service on Saturday.

Wendi Winters, 65, was one of five employees fatally shot that day. The alleged gunman, 38-year-old Jarrod Ramos, faces five counts of murder and is being held without bail.

The other Capital Gazette staffers who were killed included Rob Hiaasen, 59; Gerald Fischman, 61; John McNamara, 56; and Rebecca Smith, 34.

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Victims of the Capital Gazette shooting
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Victims of the Capital Gazette shooting
Candles representing the slain journalists of Capital Gazette sit on display during a candlelight vigil held near the Capital Gazette, the day after a gunman killed five people inside the newspaper's building in Annapolis, Maryland, U.S., June 29, 2018. REUTERS/Leah Millis
Robert Hiaasen, 59, assistant editor
Rebecca Smith, 34, sales assistant
Gerald Fischman, 61, editorial writer
John McNamara, 56, reporter 
Wendi Winters, 65, local news reporter
A woman holds a copy of the Capital Gazette during a candlelight vigil to honor the five people who were killed inside the Capital Gazette newspaper the day before in Annapolis, Maryland, U.S. June 29, 2018. REUTERS/Leah Millis
ANNAPOLIS, MD - JULY 02: Beads, a wooden heart and flowers decorate a photograph of Wendi Winters at a makeshift memorial outside the Capitol Gazette offices July 2, 2018 in Annapolis, Maryland. Winters, 65, a local news reporter and community columnist, was killed in a shooting along with her colleagues Gerald Fischman, 61, an editorial editor; Rob Hiaasen, 59, an editor and columnist; John McNamara, 56, a sports reporter and editor; and Rebecca Smith, 34, a sales assistant. Police arrested Jarrod Ramos, 38, in the paper's newsroom and he is being held without bond on five counts of murder. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
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After the shooter blasted through the newsroom's glass door and began opening fire, Winters picked up a trash can and a recycling bin and charged, Winters' son Phoenix Geimer said.

"In an act of extraordinary courage, she gave her heart, and she gave her last breath, and she gave her final eight pints of blood to the defense of the free press and in defense of her family at the Capital," Phoenix Geimer told the more than 700 service attendees, The Washington Post reported.

"She died fighting for what she believed in. My mom is an American hero, and we all have so much to live up to," Geimer added.

Several of the staffers inside the newsroom during the shooting told the Capital Gazette in interviews that they believe Winters may have saved their lives.

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Deadly shooting at Capital Gazette newspaper in Annapolis, Maryland
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Deadly shooting at Capital Gazette newspaper in Annapolis, Maryland
Police respond to a shooting in Annapolis, Maryland, June 28, 2018. - Several people were feared killed Thursday in a shooting at the building that houses the Capital Gazette, a daily newspaper published in Annapolis, a historic city an hour east of Washington. A reporter for the Capital Gazette, Phil Davis, tweeted that a 'gunman shot through the glass door to the office and opened fire on multiple employees.' He said several people were killed.'There is nothing more terrifying than hearing multiple people get shot while you're under your desk and then hear the gunman reload,' Davis said. (Photo by SAUL LOEB / AFP) (Photo credit should read SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)
Jarrod Ramos, suspected of killing five people at the offices of the Capital Gazette newspaper office in Annapolis, Maryland, U.S., June 28, 2018 is seen in this Anne Arundel Police Department booking photo provided June 29, 2018. Anne Arundel Police/Handout via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE HAS BEEN SUPPLIED BY A THIRD PARTY.
Police gather after a gunman opened fire at the Capital Gazette newspaper, killing at least five people and injuring several others in Annapolis, Maryland, U.S., June 28, 2018. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts
Capital Gazette reporter Chase Cook (R) and photographer Joshua McKerrow (L) work on the next days newspaper while awaiting news from their colleagues in Annapolis, Maryland, June 28, 2018. - At least five people were killed Thursday when a gunman opened fire inside the offices of the Capital Gazette, a newspaper published in Annapolis, a historic city an hour east of Washington.A reporter for the daily, Phil Davis, tweeted that a 'gunman shot through the glass door to the office and opened fire on multiple employees.''There is nothing more terrifying than hearing multiple people get shot while you're under your desk and then hear the gunman reload,' Davis said. (Photo by Ivan Couronne / AFP) (Photo credit should read IVAN COURONNE/AFP/Getty Images)
Police gather near the Capitol Gazette newspaper office where a shooting occurred in Annapolis, Maryland, U.S., June 28, 2018. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts
ANNAPOLIS, MD - JUNE 28: Police respond to a shooting at the Capital Gazette newspaper building on Thursday, June 28, 2018 in Annapolis, Md. (Photo by Joshua McKerrow/Capital Gazette/TNS via Getty Images)
Active shooter 888 Bestgate please help us
A single shooter shot multiple people at my office, some of whom are dead.
There is nothing more terrifying than hearing multiple people get shot while you're under your desk and then hear the gunman reload
Gunman shot through the glass door to the office and opened fire on multiple employees. Can't say much more and don… https://t.co/i1RmtpXmO9
Police officers respond to an active shooter inside a city building in Annapolis, Maryland, U.S., June 28, 2018. REUTERS/Greg Savoy
Journalist E.B Furgurson (R) takes notes with two other people as police officers respond to an active shooter inside a city building in Annapolis, Maryland, U.S., June 28, 2018. REUTERS/Greg Savoy
ANNAPOLIS, MARYLAND - JUNE 28, 2018: Gavin Buckley, Mayor of Annapolis, comments on the shooting at the Capital Gazette in Annapolis, Maryland, June 28, 2018. At least five people were killed Thursday when a gunman opened fire inside the offices of the Capital Gazette, a newspaper published in Annapolis, a historic city an hour east of Washington. (Photo by Alex Wroblewski/Getty Images)
A New York Police officer is seen deployed outside the New York Times building following a fatal shooting at a Maryland newspaper, in New York City, U.S., June 28, 2018. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid
A member of the FBI responds to a shooting in Annapolis, Maryland, June 28, 2018. - At least five people were killed Thursday when a gunman opened fire inside the offices of the Capital Gazette, a newspaper published in Annapolis, a historic city an hour east of Washington.A reporter for the daily, Phil Davis, tweeted that a 'gunman shot through the glass door to the office and opened fire on multiple employees.''There is nothing more terrifying than hearing multiple people get shot while you're under your desk and then hear the gunman reload,' Davis said. (Photo by SAUL LOEB / AFP) (Photo credit should read SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)
Law enforcement officials secure a crime scene after a gunman fired through a glass door at the Capital Gazette newspaper and sprayed the newsroom with gunfire, killing at least five people and injuring several others in Annapolis, Maryland, U.S., June 28, 2018. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts
Police respond to a shooting in Annapolis, Maryland, June 28, 2018. - At least five people were killed Thursday when a gunman opened fire inside the offices of the Capital Gazette, a newspaper published in Annapolis, a historic city an hour east of Washington.A reporter for the daily, Phil Davis, tweeted that a 'gunman shot through the glass door to the office and opened fire on multiple employees.''There is nothing more terrifying than hearing multiple people get shot while you're under your desk and then hear the gunman reload,' Davis said. (Photo by SAUL LOEB / AFP) (Photo credit should read SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)
Capital Gazette reporter Chase Cook (R) and photographer Joshua McKerrow (L) work on the next days newspaper while awaiting news from their colleagues in Annapolis, Maryland, June 28, 2018. - At least five people were killed Thursday when a gunman opened fire inside the offices of the Capital Gazette, a newspaper published in Annapolis, a historic city an hour east of Washington.A reporter for the daily, Phil Davis, tweeted that a 'gunman shot through the glass door to the office and opened fire on multiple employees.''There is nothing more terrifying than hearing multiple people get shot while you're under your desk and then hear the gunman reload,' Davis said. (Photo by Ivan Couronne / AFP) (Photo credit should read IVAN COURONNE/AFP/Getty Images)
Police respond to a shooting in Annapolis, Maryland, June 28, 2018. - At least five people were killed Thursday when a gunman opened fire inside the offices of the Capital Gazette, a newspaper published in Annapolis, a historic city an hour east of Washington.A reporter for the daily, Phil Davis, tweeted that a 'gunman shot through the glass door to the office and opened fire on multiple employees.''There is nothing more terrifying than hearing multiple people get shot while you're under your desk and then hear the gunman reload,' Davis said. (Photo by SAUL LOEB / AFP) (Photo credit should read SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)
Police respond to a shooting in Annapolis, Maryland, June 28, 2018. - At least five people were killed Thursday when a gunman opened fire inside the offices of the Capital Gazette, a newspaper published in Annapolis, a historic city an hour east of Washington.A reporter for the daily, Phil Davis, tweeted that a 'gunman shot through the glass door to the office and opened fire on multiple employees.''There is nothing more terrifying than hearing multiple people get shot while you're under your desk and then hear the gunman reload,' Davis said. (Photo by SAUL LOEB / AFP) (Photo credit should read SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)
New York Police officers are seen deployed outside the New York Times building, following a fatal shooting at a Maryland newspaper, in New York City, U.S., June 28, 2018. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid
Maryland Governor Larry Hogan speaks during a press conference following a shooting in Annapolis, Maryland, June 28, 2018. - Several people were feared killed Thursday in a shooting at the building that houses the Capital Gazette, a daily newspaper published in Annapolis, a historic city an hour east of Washington. A reporter for the Capital Gazette, Phil Davis, tweeted that a 'gunman shot through the glass door to the office and opened fire on multiple employees.' He said several people were killed.'There is nothing more terrifying than hearing multiple people get shot while you're under your desk and then hear the gunman reload,' Davis said. (Photo by SAUL LOEB / AFP) (Photo credit should read SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)
Police respond to a shooting in Annapolis, Maryland, June 28, 2018. - At least five people were killed Thursday when a gunman opened fire inside the offices of the Capital Gazette, a newspaper published in Annapolis, a historic city an hour east of Washington.A reporter for the daily, Phil Davis, tweeted that a 'gunman shot through the glass door to the office and opened fire on multiple employees.''There is nothing more terrifying than hearing multiple people get shot while you're under your desk and then hear the gunman reload,' Davis said. (Photo by SAUL LOEB / AFP) (Photo credit should read SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)
Police respond to a shooting in Annapolis, Maryland, June 28, 2018. - At least five people were killed Thursday when a gunman opened fire inside the offices of the Capital Gazette, a newspaper published in Annapolis, a historic city an hour east of Washington.A reporter for the daily, Phil Davis, tweeted that a 'gunman shot through the glass door to the office and opened fire on multiple employees.''There is nothing more terrifying than hearing multiple people get shot while you're under your desk and then hear the gunman reload,' Davis said. (Photo by SAUL LOEB / AFP) (Photo credit should read SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)
Maryland Governor Larry Hogan (C) speaks during a press conference following a shooting in Annapolis, Maryland, June 28, 2018. - At least five people were killed Thursday when a gunman opened fire inside the offices of the Capital Gazette, a newspaper published in Annapolis, a historic city an hour east of Washington.A reporter for the daily, Phil Davis, tweeted that a 'gunman shot through the glass door to the office and opened fire on multiple employees.''There is nothing more terrifying than hearing multiple people get shot while you're under your desk and then hear the gunman reload,' Davis said. (Photo by SAUL LOEB / AFP) (Photo credit should read SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)
Law enforcement officials secure a crime scene after a gunman opened fire at the Capital Gazette newspaper, killing at least five people and injuring several others in Annapolis, Maryland, U.S., June 28, 2018. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts
FBI SWAT team members confer near a shooting scene after a gunman opened fire at the Capital Gazette newspaper, killing at least five people and injuring several others in Annapolis, Maryland, U.S., June 28, 2018. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts
A newspaper stand selling the Capital Gazette is pictured in Annapolis, Maryland, on June 28, 2018. - At least five people were killed Thursday when a gunman opened fire inside the offices of the Capital Gazette, a newspaper published in Annapolis, a historic city an hour east of Washington.A reporter for the daily, Phil Davis, tweeted that a 'gunman shot through the glass door to the office and opened fire on multiple employees.''There is nothing more terrifying than hearing multiple people get shot while you're under your desk and then hear the gunman reload,' Davis said. (Photo by ZACH GIBSON / AFP) (Photo credit should read ZACH GIBSON/AFP/Getty Images)
Law enforcement officials survey the scene after a gunman fired through a glass door at the Capital Gazette newspaper and sprayed the newsroom with gunfire, killing at least five people and injuring several others, in Annapolis, Maryland, U.S., June 28, 2018. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts
Law enforcement officials survey the scene after a gunman fired through a glass door at the Capital Gazette newspaper and sprayed the newsroom with gunfire, killing at least five people and injuring several others in Annapolis, Maryland, U.S., June 28, 2018. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts

Police officers talk to a man as they respond to an active shooter inside a city building in Annapolis, Maryland, U.S., June 28, 2018.

(REUTERS/Greg Savoy)

Police gather after a gunman opened fire at the Capital Gazette newspaper, killing at least five people and injuring several others in Annapolis, Maryland, U.S., June 28, 2018. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts
Sheriff's department members outside 888 Bestgate Road after a shooting in the Capital Gazette Newspaper office/newsroom on Thursday, June 28, 2018, in Annapolis, Md. (Jerry Jackson/Baltimore Sun/TNS via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 28: A member of the NYPD stands guard in front of ABC headquarters as they increase security in Manhattan at major media companies following a shooting today at the Capital Gazette newspaper in Maryland on June 28, 2018 in New York City. One suspect is in custody after up to five people were reported killed in the shooting at the local newspaper. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
ANNAPOLIS, MD - JUNE 28: Police respond to a shooting at the Capital Gazette newspaper building on Thursday, June 28, 2018 in Annapolis, Md. (Photo by Joshua McKerrow/Capital Gazette/TNS via Getty Images)
Police respond to a shooting at the Capital Gazette newspaper building on Thursday, June 28, 2018 in Annapolis, Md. (Joshua McKerrow/Capital Gazette/TNS via Getty Images)
The scene outside 888 Bestgate, where an active shooter was in the Capital Gazette Newspaper office/newsroom, with heavy police, fire, and rescue presence on Thursday, June 28, 2018 in Annapolis, Md. (Joshua McKerrow/Capital Gazette/TNS via Getty Images)
BPD at @baltimoresun for precautionary sweep in light of Capital-Gazette incident https://t.co/ZduDQAcoDS
Absolutely devastated to learn of this tragedy in Annapolis. I am in contact with County Executive Steve Schuh, and… https://t.co/UmUc8MhuF2
Emergency response vehicles drive near a shooting scene after a gunman opened fire at the Capital Gazette newspaper in Annapolis, Maryland, U.S., June 28, 2018. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts
Law enforcement officials survey the scene after a gunman fired through a glass door at the Capital Gazette newspaper and sprayed the newsroom with gunfire, killing at least five people and injuring several others, in Annapolis, Maryland, U.S., June 28, 2018. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts
Police stage behind the Westfield Annapolis Mall after a shooting in the Capital Gazette Newspaper office/newsroom on Thursday, June 28, 2018, in Annapolis, Md. (Jerry Jackson/Baltimore Sun/TNS via Getty Images)
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"She may have distracted him enough that he forgot about me, because I definitely stood up and was looking at the door," Janel Cooley, a sales consultant with the newspaper who watched from under her desk as Winters confronted the shooter, told the Capital Gazette. "I'm sure he wasn't expecting … anyone to charge him."

"I absolutely think that Wendi Winters saved my life," reporter Rachael Pacella also told the Capital Gazette.

Winters was remembered on Saturday as a prolific local reporter who often kept her subjects chatting long after interviews were supposed to be finished.

"I tried to think, 'What is Wendi?' and I settled on a redheaded whirlwind," Capital Gazette editor Rick Hutzell told The Post. "And my job was to stand next to the whirlwind and hope it went in a direction that benefited the paper."

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