Rebecca Smith was a recent hire at the Capital Gazette but had already proved herself a valuable asset.
Smith, 34, a sales assistant, worked in the news organization’s office in Annapolis. She was one of the five people who were shot and killed Thursday afternoon.
Her boss, Capital Gazette advertising director Marty Padden, said she made sure the sales office ran smoothly.
“She was a very thoughtful person,” Padden said. “She was kind and considerate, and willing to help when needed. She seemed to really enjoy to be working in the media business.”
Smith described herself on her Facebook page as an “Endo Warrior” — a survivor of endometriosis — and a “Dog Mom. Softball Fiance. Bonus Mom to the best kid ever.”
Padden said Smith joined the Capital Gazette after working in marketing for a health care organization. She grew up in the Baltimore area and once told Padden she was a “first-class” field hockey player in high school.
She lived in eastern Baltimore County with her fiance.
She posted dozen of photos — one showing the smiling couple in formal wear at a wedding, one making silly faces in Ravens gear, another smiling with friends on the lawn at Merriweather Post Pavilion.
In some pictures, Smith had blonde hair; in others it was dark or partially colored bright pink. In one posted in 2016, she sported bright purple eye shadow
“I woke up like this,” she quipped.
“She was a very kind person,” Padden said. “She was very likable, and she had a good sense of humor.”
In many pictures, Smith posed with pictures with her fiance’s daughter.
Kelli Peleska, who played softball with Smith’s fiance, said she always attended games and traveled to tournaments with the team.
“She was the absolute most beautiful person. The biggest heart and a great loss to this world,” she said Thursday night.
Peleska said Smith was very close with her fiance’s daughter from a previous relationship.
The girl “totally idolized Becca,” she said. “They had such an amazing relationship. Can’t even imagine her pain when she hears of this.”
Strongly condemn the evil act of senseless violence in Annapolis, MD. A violent attack on innocent journalists doing their job is an attack on every American. Our prayers are with the victims and their friends and families.
— Stephanie Grisham (@PressSec) June 28, 2018
Prior to departing Wisconsin, I was briefed on the shooting at Capital Gazette in Annapolis, Maryland. My thoughts and prayers are with the victims and their families. Thank you to all of the First Responders who are currently on the scene.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 28, 2018
Journalists tell the stories of our communities, protect democracy, & often put their lives on the line just to do their jobs. Today’s attack in Annapolis is devastating. Our hearts go out to all the victims & their families.
— Justin Trudeau (@JustinTrudeau) June 29, 2018
CNN didn't even bother to bleep it — and she was awesome https://t.co/HyJZyolflU
— Raw Story (@RawStory) June 29, 2018
— CNN (@CNN) June 29, 2018
This morning’s Capital Gazette in Annapolis, MD.
May the memories of the journalists who lost their lives never be forgotten. pic.twitter.com/6NifRceErK
— Jason Donner (@jason_donner) June 29, 2018
The names of the victims in the Annapolis shooting are being released.
— Shaun King (@shaunking) June 29, 2018