(ANNAPOLIS, Md.) -- When a gunman stormed into the newsroom of the local Capital Gazette newspaper, intern Anthony Messenger made his first-ever call to 911.
The college senior continued to call for help as shots were being fired -- but couldn't speak into the phone.
"I thought we were going to die," he told ABC News.
Messenger then passed his phone to his co-worker Selene San Felice so she could call her family, he said. Once she reached her mother, she tweeted from Messenger's account: "Active shooter 888 Bestgate please help us."
"Selene deserves all the credit for the tweet," Messenger told ABC News Friday, one day after five of his colleagues were gunned down in the Annapolis, Maryland, building.
Phil Davis, a crime and courts reporter with the Gazette, was tweeting, too.
"There is nothing more terrifying than hearing multiple people get shot while you're under your desk and then hear the gunman reload," Davis tweeted after the shooting.
The alleged shooter, Jarrod Ramos, tried to hide under a desk until police quickly responded and took him into custody, according to court documents. He has been charged with five counts of first-degree murder.
Messenger, a rising senior at Salisbury University in Maryland, said loved ones checked in on him during and after the shooting.
"I am deeply appreciative of the well wishes," Messenger tweeted later. "My thoughts and prayers go out to my colleagues and their families."
Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan said he is "praying for the victims, those who were injured, and their families, friends, and loved ones in this time of tragedy."
"The Capital Gazette is my hometown paper, and I have the greatest respect for the fine journalists, and all the men and women, who work there," Hogan said in a statement. "They serve each day to shine light on the world around us so that we might see with more clarity and greater understanding."
Hogan has ordered Maryland flags to be lowered to half-staff in honor of the five victims.
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