The campus of the Marysville Pilchuck High School in Washington continues to be an active crime scene as police continue to sweep the school room by room, though details are being released slowly both by law-enforcement officials and other sources including hospital workers and students and staff of the school. Students and staff still in lockdown at the school have indicated via text and phone to media that they have not yet been released from where they have been hunkered down, despite police statements that they are confident that the threat is over. Officials for the department have stated that they believe there was only one shooter, and that he is dead. They have yet to confirm whether that death was as a result of return fire from police or whether the shooter committed suicide. The investigation is escalating, and it was just announced that the FBI has now become involved at the scene, not just local Washington law enforcement.
Police, in a statement given just after 1 pm local time did confirm that current activities in the school are part of a secondary sweep, and that they had already completed their initial search of the school. The last of the students and staff are expected to be evacuated shortly. Also in that statement, it was confirmed that there are two people who have died as a result of these shootings. In addition to the shooter, one other person is deceased, but officials are not releasing any details about the second person. It is not known whether the victim is a student or staff, but descriptions of the patients given by health care workers at the nearby Washington hospital indicated that the patients appeared “young.” In the statement, the commander giving the briefing indicated that law-enforcement would be having a meeting to gather and evaluate information, and that more details would be released at another briefing for the public around 2:30 local time. While no details about the second deceased individual have been released, at least one victim who was transported to the hospital was described as having a serious gunshot wound to the head.
According to one eyewitness report, the incident began with the shooter walking into the cafeteria of the Washington high school, approaching one specific table of people, and drawing a gun and shooting the people seated at that table. Almost immediately after the shots were fired, an alarm sounded in the halls of the school that sent students and staff scrambling to enter a lockdown status. It is not known yet whether this alarm was set of by a student, a member of the staff, or as a distraction by the shooter himself. As the final students and staff are being loaded onto busses to clear the scene of all but FBI and the local Washington police forces, the grid search of the entire grounds has become the focus of those at the Washington school. Family members are being reunited with students at a local church nearby the school. At least a dozen people reported to be family of the deceased shooter are also at that church, though they have been moved to a separate building as they are receiving news apart from media and other prying eyes. While the student’s name has not been released, it has been reported that he had several siblings and family members also attending the school.
By Jim Malone