2 die in shooting at Marysville high school

Two students console each other after the shooting at Marysville-Pilchuck High School
Two students console each other after the shooting at Marysville-Pilchuck High School's cafeteria Oct. 24. The gunman killed a female, shot four others, and killed himself.
— image credit: Kirk Boxleitner

By Globe-Times staff and news services

MARYSVILLE — The shooter and one of his victims died Oct. 24 when a freshman opened fire in the Marysville-Pilchuck High School cafeteria at 10:39 a.m.

Marysville police located two victims fatally wounded in the shooting with four individuals injured.

Jaylen Fryberg came into the cafeteria, walked up to one of the round tables, and started shooting with a small-caliber pistol, witness Rigo Perez said.

Marysville police spokesman Robb Lamoreaux would not say if the female shooting victim who died was a student or staff member.

Fryberg, who died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound, was recently suspended from the football team.

He was "not a monster. He was a nice kid," an uncle said.

And a Crossfit coach, also a tribal member, interviewed by KIRO said that Fryberg was an ambitious young man seen by some as one of the young leaders of the Tulalip Tribes. Earlier this month he was voted freshman Homecoming king.

Investigators from the Snohomish Multi-Agency Response Team are now on scene and will conduct the investigation into the shooting. There are approximately 30 students and staff that were witnesses to the shooting that are still on campus working with the SMART team.

Three shooting victims were in very critical condition and taken to Providence Regional Medical Center in Everett. The hospital reported that one male student was out of surgery and doing OK. There were also two females at the hospital wounded in the shooting.

Another victim, with less-serious injuries, was taken to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle. He is a 14-year-old male with a wound to the jaw.

Another female who was injured was treated and released.

Worried parents in vehicles could be seen driving around the perimeter of the large area around the school that had been blocked off. Cars and even school buses taking evacuated students to safe areas were caught in a traffic jam on 51st. Cars were even double-parked. Police had asked parents not to approach the high school at 5611 108th St. NE.

Only parents were allowed to pick up students, not friends or other family members. The location was at 51st and 116th, the Shoultes Gospel Church. Red Cross is assisting families there.

Students and parents were obviously shaken by the tragedy.

Perez said: "You think something like that can't happen here. You think it's just going to be another normal Friday morning. And then this happens."

A student's mother, Bree Grinde, was waiting as her daughter still hadn't shown up.

"I'm very anxious," said Grinde, who is undergoing treatment herself for breast cancer. "I can't quit thinking about the other kids. We are friends with those other kids. They are good, sweet kids. Nobody deserves to have this happen."

Another student, Alan Perez, said the shooter was on the football team and seemed happy recently, but a few weeks ago he got into a fight over a racial comment.

Grinde later was reunited with her daughter, sophomore Ashley Siegfried. After some hugs and tears, the mom said she is going to talk with her kids about what happened.

"I'm going to tell my kids I love them a lot more and hug them a lot more," Grinde said. "There's nothing more important. Life is too short."

She compared seeing her daughter come out of the church to giving birth to her.

"My biggest fear is losing my kids," she said. "We need to talk to our kids more and teach them right from wrong."

Another mom, Brooke Delgaard, picked up her two stepsons, senior E.J. and sophomore Ian Adcock.

Ian said he was about 100 feet away from the shooting, and thinks a friend of his may have been grazed by a bullet.

"I'm still in shock and nervous," Ian said.

E.J. said he heard the fire alarm then someone ran into the room and said they are in lockdown because of a shooter.

"I'm still shaken," he said.

Delgaard, after the tearful reunion, said she is a teacher and even though they train for tragedies like this, "There's no feeling in the world to describe it. It's like my scariest nightmare coming true."

She said she feels better after seeing the boys, but it "doesn't erase what took place."

She told her boys to stay off Twitter because that won't help due to of all the misinformation going around.

In the church parking lot where families were being reunited, a tearful Tami Van Dalen gave her daughter, Morgan, a long embrace. Morgan and her best friend, Madison McKee, were sharing a chicken burger three tables away from the shooting.

"We heard like a pop. Some people thought it was a firecracker. I thought it was a plastic baggie," Morgan said. "We all ran out. We ran to a classroom."

She had to reassure a teacher that it was a shooting, not a drill.

"People were falling over each other to get out, and you could hear glass breaking. It was so scary. We looked, and we just booked it," Morgan said.

Christine Wagner, a sophomore who was in the cafeteria, said she heard what she thought were seven to 10 shots, then a pause, then a final gunshot.

"Everyone jumped under the tables," she said.

After the gunfire stopped, people just began running, she said. Wagner ran from the cafeteria and climbed one of the school's fences, cutting one of her hands. She said one of her friends witnessed the people who were hit by bullets. The gunman was described as wearing a dark hooded sweatshirt.

Jery Holston waited outside the nearby Marysville fire station. He was on the phone with his daughter, a senior, and son, a freshman.

His son called him and told him that somebody had begun shooting at the high school. The boy said he had taken cover behind a dirt pile near the football stadium.

"My heart dropped in my stomach," Holston said.

His daughter called him to report that she was OK, too.

"I'm right up the road here," he told her.

Both asked him to come pick them up.

"My kids, I can tell you, are both hysterical. They are freaked out," he said.

Sheena Nguyen also waited for word. She got a call from her cousin, a sophomore at the high school.

"She heard shots from the cafeteria. Once they heard the shots they just ran. They didn't even look back," she said.

Arthur White was at a home across from school when the incident began. He did not hear gunfire. He could not believe the number of police cars that converged on the scene or how fast they were driving.

"It just kept coming," White said. "I've never seen so many police in my life. It's a tragedy."

County Executive John Lovick said: "Our thoughts are with the Marysville community — the families and the students affected by the emergency today at Marysville-Pilchuck High School. We are here to support the Marysville community throughout this tragic incident."

All after-school activities across the district are canceled through Sunday. A vigil was planned at Grove Church in Marysville at 6:30 p.m. Friday.

Support came in for the community around the state.

Attorney General Bob Ferguson gave his sympathy, as did Superintendent Holly Leach of Northshore Christian Academy in Everett.

"Please join us in praying for the families and loved ones affected by this devastating loss," she said in a letter to that school's parents.

Ferguson added: “My sympathies go out to the victims of the Marysville Pilchuck High School shooting and their families, and to all the other students, teachers and staff in that community. Today we are united in our grief.”

Marysville Public Work officials report that road closures will be in effect along 108th Street NE between 51st and 67th Avenues, as well as the entrance to the school on 51st near 112th. Detours are posted, and alternative routes are recommended. Motorists north of 51st should use 136th to and from State Avenue to the west, and 132nd for drivers heading east to 67th.

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