A Washington state high school student who fatally shot two 14-year-old girls and wounded three more classmates last week before taking his own life had sent text messages to the victims to meet at lunch before the shooting, an official said on Monday.
Freshman Jaylen Fryberg walked into the cafeteria at Marysville-Pilchuck High School on Friday and opened fire at the table where two of his cousins and three close friends were gathered, police, family members and witnesses said.
“A witness confirms that the five victims were seated at the table when the shooter opened fire, striking the victims before turning the gun on himself,” the Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office said. Sheriff Ty Trenary told a news conference the shooter arranged the meeting by text message.
A first-year female teacher tried to intervene in the attack at the school, the latest in a string of such incidents at U.S. schools that have renewed a national debate about student safety and gun control.
The teacher did not touch the gunman during the incident, the sheriff’s office said. Classes at the school north of Seattle were canceled on Monday.
The sheriff’s office also said the .40 caliber Berretta the shooter used was purchased legally by a family member, though it is unclear how Fryberg, a popular 15-year-old football player, obtained the weapon.
Medical examiners formally identified the first fatality on Monday as Zoe Galasso. She was shot in the head.
Another victim, Gia Soriano, died on Sunday. Her family said in a statement they were “devastated by this senseless tragedy.”
Shaylee Chuckulnaskit, 14, was in critical condition, officials said, as was Andrew Fryberg, 15, a cousin of the shooter. The condition of another cousin of Fryberg, 14-year-old Nate Hatch, was upgraded to satisfactory on Monday.
The shooter’s motive remained under investigation, and Fryberg’s family, prominent members of the Tulalip Indian Reservation, said there was no apparent rift between the cousins.
Police in Washington state responded to two other schools over violence concerns on Monday.
In Seattle, a student at a high school that shares a building with the city’s Children’s Museum was arrested for bringing a firebomb to campus. To the south in Auburn, a community college was in lockdown after a shooting threat, police said.
(Reporting by Victoria Cavaliere and Eric M. Johnson; Editing by Richard Chang, Eric Walsh and Mohammad Zargham)
Jersey City mayor says kosher store targeted in deadly shooting
Police in the New York metropolitan area were put on high alert to protect Jewish neighborhoods after an hours-long gunbattle with two men around a Jersey City kosher market that killed six people, authorities said.
The police shoot-out with two men armed with high-powered rifles erupted after midday on Tuesday in Jersey City, New Jersey’s second-largest municipality directly across the Hudson River from Manhattan. The six dead included three civilians, one police officer and both gunmen, authorities said.
Jersey City police said initially that the gunmen’s motive was not known. But Mayor Steven Fulop said on Tuesday night that two gunmen had deliberately targeted the Jewish JC Kosher Supermarket where the four-hour gunbattle played out.
NRA supporter Donald Trump offers ‘thoughts and prayers’ for victims of Jersey City shooting
President Donald Trump on Tuesday offered his "thoughts and prayers" for the victims of the shooting in Jersy City, New Jersey.
"At least six people, including at least one police officer, were killed in Jersey City, N.J., on Tuesday after two people opened fire around a convenience store, officials said, touching off a firefight involving dozens of law enforcement officers that made the residential area take on the feel of a war zone," The New York Times reports.
Six dead in gun rampage at Czech hospital
A gunman opened fire Tuesday in a hospital in the eastern Czech city of Ostrava, killing four men and two women in what the premier called an "immense tragedy".
Police spokeswoman Pavla Jirouskova said the suspect had fled in a silver Renault Laguna car and remained at large.
Police advised "maximum possible caution" as the man was "armed and dangerous".
The gunman allegedly shot people at close range as they sat waiting in the trauma ward of the Faculty Hospital in Ostrava, a steel hub located around 300 kilometres (190 miles) east of Prague.