Orioles, Belichick pay tribute to shooting victims

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The Baltimore Orioles paid tribute to The Capital Gazette shooting victims by placing five lilies at the press box seat reserved for the newspaper, and holding a moment of silence before their game Friday night against the Los Angeles Angels.

Longtime sportswriter John McNamara was among five employees shot to death Thursday in Annapolis at the offices of the local newspaper.

McNamara was a sportswriter for The Capital for decades before being shifted to community coverage. But his love was writing about sports, and he was always welcomed by the Orioles into the press box at Camden Yards.

At his seat were the five lilies and the front page of Friday’s edition of the newspaper, which read, “5 shot dead at The Capital.”

Before asking the crowd to reflect in silence about “a senseless act of violence,” the Orioles displayed photos of each of the five victims. McNamara was singled out for his coverage of the team.

“Yesterday, we were heartbroken to learn of the tragic loss of life in the Capital Gazette’s newsroom in another senseless act of gun violence,” the Orioles said in a message on the PA system, according to The Baltimore Sun. “The victims and wounded survivors are beloved friends and colleagues, who served our region through their steadfast commitment to journalism — including sportswriter John McNamara, who covered local sports, including the Orioles, for more than two decades.

“We are devastated by this tragic loss of life, as we extend our heartfelt support to the many family members, colleagues and friends who are grieving this unimaginable loss.”

A tribute to the victims also came from New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick, who grew up in the Annapolis area and on Friday night called it his “hometown newspaper.”

“My family and I have enjoyed special relationships with many great people who have worked for the newspaper,” Belichick said in a statement released by the Patriots. “My heart goes out to the victims, their families and the entire Annapolis community for this terrible and senseless tragedy.”

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

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