A student walked into his Seattle-area high school cafeteria on Friday and opened fire without shouting or arguing, killing one person and shooting several others in the head before turning the gun on himself, officials and witnesses said.
Students said the gunman, identified as student Jaylen Fryberg, was staring at students as he shot them inside the cafeteria at Marysville-Pilchuck High School. As other students heard the gunshots, they ran out of the cafeteria and building in a chaotic dash to safety while others were told to stay put inside classrooms.
The shooter was a student at the school north of Seattle, but Marysville Police Commander Robb Lamoureux said he could not provide more information on the gunman or his motive. Lamoureux said the shooter died of a self-inflicted wound.
Two dead, including gunman in Marysville, WA school shootingA lone student shooter and one other person was dead Friday after an attack at a high school north of Seattle, police said. A U.S. hospital says three victims are in critical condition.
Three of the people who were shot had head wounds and were in critical condition. Two young women were taken to Providence Everett Medical Center, and a 15-year-old boy was at Harborview Medical Center in Seattle, hospital officials said.
Another victim, a 14-year-old boy, was listed in serious condition at Harborview as well, the hospital said.
Many students described Fryberg as a happy, popular student, but social media accounts suggested he was struggling with an unidentified problem.
On Wednesday, a posting on his Twitter account read: “It won’t last … It’ll never last.” On Monday, another tweet said: “I should have listened. … You were right … The whole time you were right.”
Witnesses described the gunman as methodical in the cafeteria.
Brian Patrick said his daughter, a freshman, was 10 feet (3 meters) from the gunman when the shooting occurred. She ran from the cafeteria and immediately called her mother.
Patrick said his daughter told him, “The guy walked into the cafeteria, pulled out a gun and started shooting. No arguing, no yelling.”
Student Alan Perez was eating his lunch at a nearby table when he heard the gunshots.
“He had a little gun in his hand. I saw the flash from the muzzle,” he told KING-TV.
Another student, Austin Taylor, told the station the shooter “was just staring down every one of his victims as he shot them.”
Senior Jayden Eugenio, 17, was in the library when a fire alarm went off. Someone came on the intercom and said shots had been fired and students should stay inside.
“I was shaking, you would never believe this would happen in your school,” he said.
Outside the school, students started streaming out of the building, with some trying to jump a fence to get away, witnesses said.
Cedar Parker, a 17-year-old senior, said he was driving away from campus when the shooting happened. He let several students into his car as he heard others yelling for their friends: “Where are you?”
A crowd of parents waited in a parking lot outside a nearby church where they were being reunited with their children. Buses pulled up periodically to drop off students evacuated from the school, with some running to hug their mothers or fathers.
Patrick said after the shooting, his other daughter, a senior at the school, called him “hysterical” from her classroom.
“I thought, ‘God let my kids be safe,” he said.
FBI spokeswoman Ayn Dietrich said the agency was assisting local law enforcement and providing specialists to work with victims and their families.
Marysville-Pilchuck High School has many students from the Tulalip Indian tribe. State Sen. John McCoy, a tribal member, said the shooting had devastated the community.
“We’re all related in one shape or form. We live and work and play together,” he said.
Another shooting occurred June 5 in the metro area at Seattle Pacific University, where a gunman killed one student and wounded two others.
This report is compiled with information from The Associated Press.
American children at greater risk of gun violence than other developed nations
American children are much more likely to be killed by unintentional shootings than their peers in other developed countries, according to a report by an anti-gun violence group. CCTV America’s Ginger Vaughn reports.
Sometimes Americans who don’t own guns pay the ultimate price for the right of others to own one. Sandra Philips knows firsthand.
Her daughter, 24-year-old Jessica Redfield Ghawi, was killed after being shot six times in the 2012 Aurora, Colorado shooting that left a total of 12 dead. The accused gunman owned several guns and 6,000 rounds of ammunition.
“Common sense would make you ask, who needs 6,000 rounds of ammunition, bomb making equipment, a smoke bomb, and complete body armor?” Philips said.
American children at greater risk of gun violence than other developed nationsAmerican children are much more likely to be killed by unintentional shootings than their peers in other developed countries, according to a report by an anti-gun violence group. CCTV America’s Ginger Vaughn reports.
Americans are also grappling with deaths as a result of accidental shootings. The number of American children killed in accidental shootings may be lot higher than previously reported.
A recent report by the nonprofits Everytown for Gun Safety and Moms Demand Action, titled “Innocents Lost,” found that from December 2012-December 2013, at least 100 American children died in unintentional shootings. That’s almost two children each week, more than 60 percent higher than the rate reported by the U.S. government.
Phillips’ husband, Lonnie, said the problem is how easy it is for any American to get a gun.
“The accessibility of guns in this country is the one thing that we have, that no other countries have,” he said.
The most uncompromising gun rights group in the U.S., Gun Owners of America, has said that more children will die in a car, drown in a pool, or choke on food, than they will by firearms.
Gun advocates said learning about firearm safety through proper education and training is the best way to prevent accidents. This belief was diminished when a 9 year-old accidentally shot and killed her instructor with an Uzi sub-machine gun.
Texas gun shop owner Travis James remains convinced in the merits of teaching gun safety to children.
“We try to cater to parents teaching kids to shoot. It’s like any other sport, if you don’t do it right, you’re gonna get hurt,” he said.
Statistics published by the Children’s Defense Fund shows that training alone may not be enough. The report found that American children and teens are 16 times more likely to die in accidental shootings than their peers in other high-income countries.
For more insight into the issue, CCTV America interviewed Edward Smith, an attorney and community activist.
Community activist Edward Smith discusses children and gun violenceAmerican children are much more likely to be killed by unintentional shootings than their peers in other developed countries, according to a report by an anti-gun violence group. For more insight into the issue, CCTV America interviewed Edward Smith, an attorney and community activist.
For more on the what schools are doing to protect themselves during these types of incidents, CCTV America spoke to Kenneth Trump. He’s the president of National School Safety and Security Services. He has spent the last 30 years working with lawmakers to develop school-safety policies.