News & Opinion | June 29, 2018 8:57 am

Capital Gazette Survivor Wants More Than Trump’s Thoughts and Prayers

Staff writers Phil Davis and Selene San Felice day thoughts and prayers aren’t enough.

capital gazette
TOPSHOT - 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. (SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)

Capital Gazette staff writers Phil Davis and Selene San Felice joined Anderson Cooper by phone on CNN just hours after they survived the deadly mass shooting in their newsroom to talk about what happened. The journalists made it clear that the president’s “thoughts and prayers” are not enough.

Davis was one of the first reporters to tweet details about the incident. He has reported on shootings like this before, and he retold his personal story in horrifying detail for CNN, even talking about the moment he heard the gunman reload while Davis was hiding under his desk.

“I’ll tell you when it first started to happen, I mean, you just immediately go into panic mode,” he said, according to The Daily Beast. He says he thought, “Are we all going to die?” and “Is he not going to leave until everyone in here is dead?”

San Felice says that the shooting was very calculated and that it appeared the shooter may have been targeting editors specifically. When asked by Cooper how she was handling everything, she answered, “I mean, I watched someone die, so not super great.”

“I could be definitely, obviously, doing worse, but it’s hard for me to think past the next 30 minutes right now in my life. Thirty minutes is a long time, and I just—the answer is not good, right?” she continued, according to The Daily Beast. “But I’m here and I’m talking to you. And I know that a lot of people are listening. I have heard that President Trump sent his prayers. I’m not trying to make this political, all right? But we need more than prayers. I appreciate the prayers. I was praying the entire time I was under that desk. I want your prayers, but I want something else.”

President Trump tweeted his “thoughts and prayers” while on his way to to Wisconsin.

Responding to San Felice’s comment, Davis said, “I was praying when he started reloading that shotgun that there weren’t going to be more bodies. And you know what? If we’re at a position in our society where all we offer each other is prayers, then where are we? Where are we as a society where people die and that’s the end of that story.”

San Felice followed up, saying that this will probably only be in the news for a week.

“I’m going to need more than a couple days of news coverage and some thoughts and prayers, because it’s our whole lives have been shattered,” she said. “And so thanks for your prayers, but I couldn’t give a f-ck about them if there’s nothing else.”