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School shooting in Washington leaves four students dead

by JASMINE ELSHAMY Editor-in-Chief

Freshman Jaylen Ray Fryberg fired a .40-caliber handgun at a table full of students in the school cafeteria just after 10:30 a.m. on October 24, shooting the five victims and causing other students to flee to safety and lock themselves in classrooms at Marysville Pilchuck High School, about 30 miles north of Seattle, Washington.

Four of the victims plus the shooter have died since the day of the shooting.

Fifteen-year-old Andrew Fryberg died Friday evening from his wounds. Zoe Galasso, 14, was killed during the shooting. Gia Soriano, 14, died Oct. 26 at Providence Regional Medical Center in Everett, and 14-year-old Shaylee Chuckulnaskit died Oct. 31 at the Everett hospital. 

On Thursday, 14-year-old Nate Hatch was released from Harborview and returned home. He had been shot in the jaw.

Fryberg died of a self-inflicted wound.

In a statement Friday night, the Tulalip Tribes said they and Marysville “will be forever changed as a result of the senseless and tragic incident that took place on the morning of Oct. 24 and know that healing will not happen overnight. We remain committed to taking this journey together, step by step, holding up the families most impacted and helping our communities heal.”

Fryberg invited his victims to lunch by text message, shot them at their table, then killed himself. Shortly before the attack, the gunman sent a selfie to an ex-girlfriend of himself holding a gun, a law enforcement official said. It is unclear if it was the same .40 caliber pistol he pulled out of a black backpack later on.

He was a football player, and named a prince on the school’s homecoming court a week before the killings. He was a member of a prominent Tulalip Tribes family. Friends said he seemed happy, although he was also upset about a girl.

His Twitter feed was recently full of vague, anguished postings, like “It won’t last … It’ll never last,” and “I should have listened. … You were right … The whole time you were right.”

Andrew Fryberg and Hatch were cousins of the shooter. The boys were close friends, nearly inseparable, and lived close to one another their grandfather, Don Hatch, said last month.

“This story is heartbreaking. I can’t believe this country is having to face yet another school shooting. I wonder when something is actually going to be done in attempt to put a stop to this,” says senior Cori Haider.

I agree, Cori. But how can people even get up in arms about in issue that got about five minutes of air time due to all the media coverage being about the one, the only, you guessed it: EBOLA?

This tragic story is so relevant to our nation, yet when I turn on CNN or MSNBC, the majority of people are just yelling on and on about Ebola! And guess what? I am pretty sure more U.S. citizens have died right here from this shooting than from Ebola. Actually, I am sure that more people are going to die of the flu in America this year than they are of Ebola.

How convenient that right around the time of midterm elections a story that is central to gun rights gets barely any attention?

Let us pay these kids the respect that they deserve, and keep in mind that school shootings are still happening. It did not end with Sandy Hook, and unfortunately, it is not ending here.

What do you think of the shooting and how it was covered by the media?

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