Friday, October 24, 2014
MARYSVILLE, Wash. (AP) — A student opened fire Friday in a high school cafeteria north of Seattle, killing at least one person and shooting several others in the head, officials said. The gunman also died in the attack.
Students in the cafeteria said the gunman stared at the students as he shot them. They described a chaotic scene at Marysville Pilchuck High School, as panicked students ran for safety.
Student Alan Perez told KING-TV he was eating his lunch near the gunman when he heard the shots.
"He had a little gun in his hand. I saw the flash from the muzzle," Perez said.
Another student, Austin Taylor, told the station the shooter "was just staring down every one of his victims as he shot them."
Cedar Parker, a 17-year-old senior, told The Associated Press he was driving away from campus for lunch when he saw students running and trying to jump a fence. Parker let several into his car. He heard other students yelling for their friends: "Where are you?"
Parker said choosing not to eat in the cafeteria saved his life.
The shooter was a student at the school 30 miles north of Seattle, but Marysville Police Commander Robb Lamoureux said he could not provide more information on the gunman or his motive.
Lamoureux said he did not know if the shooter died of a self-inflicted wound.
Brian Patrick said his daughter, a freshman, was in the cafeteria 10 feet from the gunman when the shooting occurred. She ran from the cafeteria and immediately called her mother.
Patrick said his daughter told him, 'The guy walked into the cafeteria, pulled out a gun and started shooting. No arguing, no yelling."
His other daughter, a senior at the school, called him 'hysterical' from her classroom, Patrick said.
"I thought, 'God let my kids be safe," he said.
Four students were taken to Providence Everett medical center, said hospital spokeswoman Heidi Amrine. Three were in "very critical" condition. It was not immediately clear if the person who died was one of those students.
Harborview Medical Center in Seattle said it received a 14-year-old male student, who was listed in serious condition.
After the attack, a crowd of parents waited in a parking lot outside a nearby church where they were being reunited with their children. Buses pulled up periodically to drop off students evacuated from the school, with some running to hug their mothers or fathers.
Some parents were sent back to their cars to get their identifications before they could leave with their children.
Ayn Dietrich, an FBI spokeswoman in Seattle, said the agency had personnel on their way to the scene to help authorities with the investigation.
Another shooting occurred June 5 at Seattle Pacific University, where a gunman killed one student and wounded two others.