When a teen gunman went on a shooting rampage at Marysville-Pilchuck High School in Washington State on Oct. 24, he wasn’t aiming at random victims but members of his own family, according to CNN. The gunman, identified as 14-year-old Jaylen Fryberg, has been described as a popular student and freshman at the school, and a former homecoming prince and member of the football team. On Friday, he “calmly opened fire in the school cafeteria at lunchtime.”
Two students are dead, including the shooter who may have turned the gun on himself. Four others, including two of the shooter’s cousins, were injured, according to ABC News.
Fryberg lived in close proximity to his two cousins. By all accounts, the cousins were all close and got along famously, even attending a school dance last week where Fryberg was named freshman homecoming prince.
The two cousins shot by Fryberg have been identified as Andrew Fryberg, 15, and Nate Hatch 14, according to CNN. The cousins are currently at Seattle’s Harborview Medical Center. Fryberg is listed as being in critical condition. Hatch is in serious condition.
Two 14-year-old girls wounded in the shootings have now been identified as Shaylee Chuckulnaskit and Gia Soriano. Both girls sustained gunshot wounds to their heads and are listed in critical condition.
There’s still no explanation – except for perhaps a recent school suspension or a recent breakup with a girlfriend – for what prompted Fryberg’s murderous shooting spree, and still no explanation as to why he targeted his two cousins. Don Hatch, the grandfather of one of the male shooting victims, is still searching for those answers.
“Only God knows what escalated this. Only God knows.”
“Nobody pushed a button with bullying. It’s just something that happened, and we don’t know why.”
One teacher at Marysville-Pilchuck High School is being credited with trying to talk down and disarm Fryberg in the cafeteria after the shooting started. First-year social studies teacher Megan Silberberger, just newly hired at the school, is being called a hero.
Silberberger isn’t speaking to the media just yet on the specifics regarding her actions but tweeted that “I am thankful and grateful for the support from everyone. At this time I am requesting privacy.” Another question that remains in the Marysville school shooting is whether Fryberg purposely took his own life, or if he accidentally shot and killed himself in a struggle over the gun with Silberberger.
Most accounts state that Fryberg turned the gun on himself. A candlelight vigil was held at the Grove Church in Marysville on Oct. 24 where students gathered to pray, grieve and write messages to the victims.
For now, classes and all school activities have been cancelled at Marysville-Pilchuck High School for this week. For more on the Marysville school shooting in Washington, and for more on the shooter, see the video accompanying this article.