Shaylee Chuckulnaskit, 14, has died, bringing to four the number of students dead after the Marysville Pilchuck High School shooting in Washington on Oct. 24. The young girl died at Providence Regional Medical Center on Friday night, one week after the shooting. She was one of five students shot in their high school cafeteria by 15-year-old Jaylen Fryberg. Zoe Galasso, 14, died on the scene. Gia Soriano, 14, died Sunday, Oct. 26. Jaylen Fryberg died from a self-inflicted gunshot.
Two other teens, 15-year-old Andrew Fryberg and 14-year-old Nate Hatch, are still hospitalized. Andrew is in critical condition, Nate in satisfactory condition. Both boys are cousins of the shooter.
Jaylen Fryberg came from a prominent Tulalip Indian family. He was said to be proud of his Native American heritage.The Tulalip Tribes released a statement last week condemning the actions of the shooter. Late Friday they issued a statement of condolences to the Chuckulnaskit family. Both Andrew Fryberg and Nate Hatch are also members of the Washington tribe. Hundreds turned out for a memorial service for Jaylen Fryberg on Thursday, held on the Tulalip Indian reservation.
It is still unknown what the motive was behind the shootings, as Jaylen did not fit the typical mold of school shooters. He was reported to be popular, a homecoming prince for the freshman class, and a member of the football team. Recent reports show that he may have been dealing with a breakup or rejection by a girl. Some of his posts on social media indicate that he was in some kind of pain. He had recently been involved in a fight with another student. Not long before the attack he had sent a picture of himself holding a gun to his ex-girlfriend.
The five shooting victims were invited to lunch by Jaylen Fryberg, who texted them earlier in the day. Another student who witnessed the Washington high school attack, Jordon Luton, said that Jaylen went up to the table of students from behind and “fired about six bullets into the backs of them.” He said they were Jaylen’s friends, so the shooting was not random. The sheriff has confirmed that the gun was a Beretta that was registered and owned by a family member. Authorities have not yet determined how Jaylen got the gun.
Police recordings from the shooting scene have recently been released. There is a maze of buildings that make up the Washington high school campus,, which needed to be secured. The recordings show the police response as they tried to get 2,500 students to safety. Within a minute of the 911 call about a shooting in the cafeteria there was an officer on the radio from inside the school saying that the report of a shooter was confirmed and there were five down. A few seconds later he announced that the shooter was down. Buses were brought in to move the students off campus.
Washington authorities did not know if there was only the one shooter involved, which complicated the process of getting medics in to tend to the injured students. Students and teachers were in lock down in secure places, which made the search for people to evacuate difficult. It took hours for the police to find all the students and move them to safety.
By Beth A. Balen