Hospital officials on Saturday identified four students who were critically injured when a freshman football player opened fire at a Washington high school. Police also confirmed reports that a school cafeteria worker helped stop the shooter's rampage.
Shaylee Chuckulnaskit and Gia Soriano, both 14, remained in critical condition Saturday morning at Providence Regional Medical Center in Everett, according to a statement released by the hospital. Both suffered serious head wounds when gunfire erupted at Marysville-Pilchuck High School on Friday morning.
Two students, including the one police identified as the shooter, Jaylen Fryberg, were killed in the attacks; the other student has not been identified. Four other students, including the girls, suffered serious injuries.
On Saturday afternoon, Harborview Medical Center in Seattle identified the other surviving victims as 14-year-old Nate Hatch and 15-year-old Andrew Fryberg.
Hatch, who suffered a jaw injury, was in "serious and improving" condition, according to hospital spokeswoman Susan Gregg. Andrew Fryberg remained in critical condition.
Hospital staff did not say whether Andrew Fryberg was related to the shooter. Gregg said she could not comment on the relationships between the victims and the shooter.
"Our family is in shock. We appreciate your thoughts and prayers during this tragedy," Soriano's family said in a statement released by the hospital. "Our hearts go out to the other victims and their families. Please allow us our privacy as we deal with this tragedy."
On Saturday morning, security guards blocked off all access to the high school as law enforcement agents continued their investigation of the deadly shooting.
A few damp bouquets and tributes to the dead and injured hung from a chain-link fence surrounding the high school's athletic field. Condolence signs began cropping up in the rainy city of 63,000, which sits 35 miles north of Seattle. At 88th St. Espresso, the marquee read: "We are thinking and praying for all those involved at MP."
The carnage unfolded beginning at 10:39 a.m. Friday, when police say Jaylen Fryberg opened fire near the school's cafeteria. He died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound, according to Marysville police.
Jaylen Fryberg's Twitter account suggested he had been deeply saddened by a recent breakup.
"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," he wrote three days before the shootings.
Much earlier, on Aug. 20, he wrote: "Your not gonna like what happens next!!"
Police have said the weapon used by Jaylen Fryberg was "legally acquired," but declined to elaborate.
In a statement issued Saturday, the Snohomish County Sheriff's Office described the weapon as a .40 caliber handgun. Police are still trying to confirm a motive in the shootings.
Investigators have interviewed more than 100 witnesses.
The bodies of the deceased students have been turned over to the county medical examiner's office, which may release an update around 4:30 p.m., according to a spokeswoman for the office.
The sheriff's office also confirmed reports that a cafeteria worker attempted to stop Fryberg as he shot at students, but the agency did not elaborate.
Erick Cervantes, 16, was in the cafeteria when the gunfire erupted and told the Los Angeles Times that a woman had attempted to intervene.
The woman "came out and tried to stop him. I heard a shot and saw him on the ground," he continued.
Cervantes said he did not believe Fryberg committed suicide.
"I'm pretty sure it was an accident," the shaken boy said Friday, explaining that the gun appeared to go off during the struggle with the cafeteria worker.
Police have not said that Fryberg intentionally killed himself
Hailee Simenson, a 16-year-old Tomahawks cheerleader, described Soriano as someone who was "really, really sweet and had a lot of friends."
"It's really hard for us," Simenson said hours after the shooting. "We're a close school ... It's scary ... not something I thought would happen at our school."
Austyn Neal, a 14-year-old freshman and classmate of Soriano, said the two had been in world history class Friday morning before Soriano was shot.
"She's funny, outgoing," Neal said. "She was shot in the head. It was going around the school and Twitter."
Neal also had a science class with Jaylen Fryberg, who he said had been "getting bullied for being Native" in the weeks before the shooting. On Thursday, he said, Fryberg "seemed mad, had his head down the whole time, didn't really talk" in their sixth period together.
Jaylen Fryberg's family is influential in the Tulalip tribe, which issued a statement confirming "tribal members" were involved in Friday's shooting, but has said little else about the teen.
A recent video of the school's homecoming event also shows a distant Jaylen Fryberg, his eyes downcast as he is announced as the freshman class Homecoming Prince. While the girl next to him can be seen smiling and waving, Fryberg continually looks around, his eyes wandering as the camera lingers.
Chuckulnaskit, a bubbly teenager, can also be seen smiling and laughing in a series of pictures posted to her Facebook page. The young girl can be seen blowing kisses and giggling in nearly every frame.
In all the sorrow that unfolded Friday, an act of kindness played out between rival football squads.
The Oak Harbor Wildcats had been scheduled to play the Marysville-Pilchuck Tomahawks in a division championship game hours after the shooting, but the game was canceled, and the rival players showed up at an evening prayer vigil for this shattered city.
Instead of rescheduling, according to news reports, the team decided to forfeit, conceding the title to its grieving rival.
"Something absolutely beautiful on such an ugly, tragic day," wrote one local sports columnist. "Bravo, Oak Harbor football, bravo."
La Ganga reported from Marysville and Queally from Los Angeles.
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