On a morning like many before Jaylen Fryberg would walk into his school cafeteria. On this day he would do a terrible thing.
In his Seattle area school Fryberg would walk into the school’s crowded cafeteria and without saying a word open fire on his fellow students. Fryberg would kill one student; injure several others by shooting them in the head before turning the gun on himself.
When authorities arrived they would find the shooter and female victim already dead. Mercifully the other students who were shot were taken to Providence Everett medical centre, and although critically injured appear likely to live. The two boys who were rushed to hospital were, Andrew Fryberg, 15, and Nate Hatch, 14; both cousins to Jaylen Fryberg.
The information thus far about names has not been confirmed by Marysville Police Commander Robb Lamoureux with the names thus far coming from family and fellow students.
Austin Taylor said he was sitting about 10 feet from the shooter inside the cafeteria; “I was sitting at the table right next to the round table, where the shooter was. I just got done eating my food. He was quiet, everyone was talking. All of sudden he stands up, pulls something out of his pocket. 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. I jumped under the table as fast as I could. When it stopped, I got back up and saw he was trying to reload his gun. And when that happened, I just ran in the opposite direction and I was out of there as fast as I could.” I do not imagine any of us would have done differently under these circumstances.
Governor of Seattle Jay Inslee was briefed about the shooting. The statement from his office said that he “like everybody is keeping these students and families in his prayers.”
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.
Fryberg came from a prominent Tulalip tribal family and was considered by some a future leader. Earlier this month he was named homecoming prince, and an online video shows him being introduced on the football field, wearing a white “homecoming royalty” sash. Another student, Jarron Webb, 15, said Fryberg had been angry about a romantic relationship. Fryberg’s Twitter feed was full of anguished comments in recent days.
Is it not time for these horrors to stop? We across the pond will forever struggle with the idea of everyone having guns but how can it continue anymore? This will mark the third school shooting in the USA this year and the twenty-third since the shootings at Columbine High School. Children are being killed in their schools. This needs to stop. It may seem a world away to us but how can we not feel the anguish of a child’s life snuffed out so rashly? I hope that this is the last shooting we see but it won’t be; more will follow, with no end in sight and no change to come. I wish I could say something will but even with this tragedy fresh in the mind of elected Americans nothing will change.
I can only hope that the next time an unbalanced shooter walks into a school they think of what they are doing first, put the gun down and walk away. I hope that people rise up to fight for their children and the next generation. I hope that Congress listens. I hope.