Yesterday, a freshman student at Marysville-Pilchuck High School, just north of Seattle opened fire in the school cafeteria, killing one girl and wounding four other students, two boys and two girls currently in critical condition, before taking his own life.
The 14-year-old gunman was identified last night as Jaylen Fryberg, a 'well-liked' kid on the school football team who was crowned homecoming prince.
Police were called to the scene at about 10:45 am yesterday, where the school was on lock-down. USA Today reports witnesses' descriptions of the scene:
Austin Taylor was seated at a table next to the gunman, who was quiet amid the lunch chatter.
"All of sudden he stands up, pulls something out of his pocket," he told the station. "At first I thought it was someone making a really loud noise like a bag, a loud pop. There were four more after that. I saw three kids just fall from the table, like they were falling to the ground dead."
A relative of Fryberg told CNN that two of the wounded students were cousins of the shooter, saying "All three of them are cousins, and they live right close to each other." And Chicago Tribune reports that a classmate of the female victim claims that Fryberg was "in an ongoing dispute with his cousin over the victim's affections." A string of tweets from Fryberg's Twitter account seem to indicate he was emotional over a personal relationship: "It won't last…I'll never last." ""It breaks me...It actually does...I know it seems like I'm sweating it off... But I'm not.. And I never will be able to."
Fryberg was the son of family in the Tulalip tribe—Chairman of the Tulalip tribe Board of Directors, Herman Williams Sr. released a statement saying:
"I am deeply saddened by the terrible tragedy in our local school district," he said. "The fact that tribal members were involved makes it extremely hard to respond to any inquiries until we are aware of all the circumstances."
Authorities did not state what type of gun was used, but it had been obtained legally. The Friday night football game was cancelled and a vigil was held, where Pastor Nik Baumgart told mourners, via LA Times:
"And I remember all kinds of times when I've had the same thoughts that you've had about that city, about that situation, about those schools," he continued. "Now that's us. Now that's my alma mater. Here's what we're here to do tonight. It's simple. It's honestly overly simple. Love one another. Weep together."
Image via AP.