Rebecca Smith, 34, had worked for the Capital Gazette for less than a year when she was shot dead inside their Annapolis office on June 29. Jarrod Ramos has been charged with five counts of capital murder after the attack.
The other victims have been named as Gerald Fischman, 61, Rob Hiaasen, 59, John McNamara, 56 and Wendi Winters, 65. Speaking to the Baltimore Sun, Smith’s boss, Marty Padden, said, “She was a very thoughtful person. She was kind and considerate, and willing to help when needed. She seemed to really enjoy to be working in the media business… She was a very kind person. She was very likable, and she had a good sense of humor.” The Sun report says that Smith, who went by Becca, lived in eastern Baltimore County with her fiance, DJay Poling.
Padden said that Smith had told her that she was a “first class” field hockey player during her high school days, according to the Sun.
According to her Facebook page, Smith is an “Endo Warrior.” In her introduction section, Smith also wrote, “Dog Mom. Softball Fiance. Bonus Mom to the best kid ever.” Smith describes her job as the sales and advertising coordinator at Baltimore Sun Media Group/Capital Gazette. The last visible post on Smith’s Facebook page was about creating awareness about endometriosis. A condition that Smith “struggled with everyday but didn’t show weakness.” One comment under that post, made after Smith’s tragic dead, read, “So sad, such a young beautiful soul.” Another wrote, “Praying for Rebecca’s fiance and his sweet daughter, and her family and friends. Just heartbreaking.”
A Go Fund Me page has been set up to help Smith’s family to pay for the unexpected costs resulting from her death. That tribute says that Smith referred to her fiance as, “her human , her rock, her ride or die, her soul.” It continues, “Becca came into our BEASTMODE family like she has been there forever, everyone welcomed her with open arms, kisses and of course some fireball shots :) we will miss her more than words can explain. She will always be apart of our family.” The financial goal of the page is $8,000.
DJay Poling wrote a heartbreaking Facebook post after Smith’s death that read, “This cant be real… I will ALWAYS love you, no matter what. As you used to tell me “You are my human.” No one ever put up with or attempted to make me a better person like you did. I will love you forever… To the moon and back…. I love you more. Til we meet again beautiful, til we meet again.” As news of the shooting broke, Poling posted this to Facebook:
One of Smith’s fiance’s softball teammates, Kelli Peleska, told the Sun, “She was the absolute most beautiful person. The biggest heart and a great loss to this world.” Peleska mentioned that Smith’s fiance’s daughter “totally idolized Becca.” Peleska said, “They had such an amazing relationship. Can’t even imagine her pain when she hears of this.”
A former colleague of Smith’s, Justin Rebbert, from Freestate Ambulance in Linthicum Heights, told the Washington Post, “If I or anyone else would want to talk to her, she was always willing to talk about anything. It was good to know there were other people going through things similar to what I was going through.” Freestate Ambulance is a provider of ambulance services in the Baltimore-area, according to their website. The Post report says that Smith worked as a marketing director for the company. That same report says Smith had a “strong work ethic.”