MARYSVILLE — A 14-year-old girl died two days after a student opened fire inside a Washington state high school, raising the death toll in the shooting to three, including the gunman who killed himself as a teacher tried to stop him.
The community wondered why a popular homecoming prince would open fire on Friday in Marysville-Pilchuck High School cafeteria.
“We can’t answer that question,” said Matt Remle, a tribal guidance counsellor who has an office at Marysville-Pilchuck High School, which is 30 miles north of Seattle. “But we try to make sense of the senselessness.”
The shooter Jaylen R. Fryberg was from a prominent Tulalip Indian family.
Gia Soriano died last night, and her organs will be donated for transplant, officials at Providence Regional Medical Centre in Everett said.
“We are devastated by this senseless tragedy,” Soriano’s family said in a statement, read at a news conference by Dr Joanne Roberts. “Gia is our beautiful daughter, and words cannot express how much we will miss her.”
The Snohomish County Medical Examiner’s Office today officially released the names and causes of death of one of the victims and the gunman, a popular freshman, who opened fire Friday.
Zoe R. Galasso, 14, died of a gunshot wound to the head after being shot by Fryberg, 15, who also died of a gunshot wound to the head. The medical examiner ruled his death a suicide. Fryberg killed himself as a teacher intervened in the shooting in the cafeteria, authorities said.
Three other students remain hospitalized, two in critical condition and one in satisfactory condition.
Yesterday, parents and students gathered in a gymnasium at the school for a community meeting, with speakers urging support and prayers and tribal members playing drums and singing songs.
“We just have to reach for that human spirit right now,” said Deborah Parker, a tribal member.
Young people hugged each other and cried as speakers urged people to come together.
“Our legs are still wobbly,” said Tony Hatch, a cousin of one of the injured students.
Of the wounded students, only Nate Hatch, 14, who was shot in the jaw, showed improvement, having been upgraded to satisfactory condition today. He remained in intensive care at Harborview Medical Centre in Seattle and was awake and breathing on his own, hospital spokeswoman Susan Gregg said. Andrew Fryberg, 15, was in critical condition in intensive care at the hospital. Both are cousins of Jaylen Fryberg.
Shaylee Chuckulnaskit, 14, remained in critical condition in intensive care at Providence Regional Medical Centre.
As the community looked for comfort, a makeshift memorial on a chain-link fence kept growing yesterday. Balloons, flowers, stuffed toys and signs adorned the fence near the school, which will be closed this week.