Third student dies in Washington school shooting

2014-10-27 19:06
(David Ryder, AFP)

(David Ryder, AFP)

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Marysville - A 14-year-old girl who was wounded when a student opened fire inside a Washington state high school has died, raising the death toll in the shooting to three, including the gunman.

Gia Soriano died on Sunday night, more than two days after she was shot, officials at Providence Regional Medical Centre Everett said.

"We are devastated by this senseless tragedy," her family said in a statement, read at a news conference by Dr Joanne Roberts. "Gia is our beautiful daughter, and words cannot express how much we will miss her."

Roberts said Gia's family was donating her organs for transplant.

Another girl, who hasn't been officially identified, was killed on Friday when a popular freshman at Marysville-Pilchuck High School north of Seattle opened fire. The shooter, Jaylen Fryberg, died at the scene of a self-inflicted wound.

Three other students remain hospitalised, two in critical condition and one in serious condition.

Earlier on Sunday, parents and students gathered in a gymnasium at the school for a community meeting, with speakers urging support and prayers and tribal members playing drums and singing songs. Fryberg was from a prominent family from the Tulalip Indian tribes.

"We just have to reach for that human spirit right now," said Deborah Parker, a tribal member.

Young people hugged each other and cried as speakers urged people to come together.

"Our legs are still wobbly," said Tony Hatch, a cousin of one of the injured students. "We're really damaged right now."

Of the wounded students, only Nate Hatch, 14, showed improvement, though he remained in serious condition in intensive care. Andrew Fryberg, 15, also was in critical condition in intensive care. Both are cousins of Jaylen Fryberg.

Shaylee Chuckulnaskit, 14, remained in critical.

Fryberg died in the attack after a first-year teacher intervened. It's unclear if he intentionally killed himself or if the gun went off in a struggle with a teacher.

As the community looked for comfort, a makeshift memorial on a chain-link fence kept growing on Sunday. Balloons, flowers, stuffed toys and signs adorned the fence near the school, which will be closed this week.

Meanwhile, the close-knit community on the nearby Tulalip Indian reservation struggled with the news that the shooter was a popular teenager from one of their more well-known families.

A tribal guidance counselor said no one knows what motivated Fryberg.

"We can't answer that question," said Matt Remle, who has an office at Marysville-Pilchuck High School, which is 30 miles north of Seattle. "But we try to make sense of the senselessness."

Read more on:    us  |  us school shootings

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