UPDATE Thursday 6am
The Spokesman-Review in Spokane reports the student who killed a classmate and wounded three others is Caleb Sharpe. Authorities say he brought a semi-automatic rifle and a handgun to Freeman High School Wednesday morning and shot four students, killing one before being tackled by a custodian.
The student who died has been identified as Sam Strahan. According to witnesses, Strahan was shot and killed when he tried to confront Sharpe after his weapon jammed. Three other students were also shot – Emma Nees, Jordyn Goldsmith and Gracie Jensen and listed in satisfactory condition at Providence Sacred Heart Medical Center in Spokane.
Classmates told the paper Sharpe was obsessed with previous school shootings and had brought notes at the beginning of the school year, saying he was going to do “something stupid” and might get killed or jailed.
Freeman High School is closed today.
One student died and three others were wounded when a fellow student opened fire this morning at Freeman High School in Rockford south of Spokane. KREM TV in Spokane reported that Sacred Heart Hospital confirmed three victims are in stable condition. Authorities have not release any names yet.
A student says the gunman who opened fire is a classmate. Michael Harper, who’s 15, told The Associated Press that the suspect had long been obsessed with past school shootings. Harper says the suspect had brought notes to school in the beginning of the year, saying he might get killed or jailed. Harper says some students alerted counselors. The identity of the suspect has not been released.
KREM.com reported the Spokane County Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich said the student who was killed tried to confront the shooter after his first gun jammed.
“He attempted to fire one weapon and it jammed,” Knezovich said. “He went to his next weapon and a student walked up to him, engaged him and that student was shot.”
Knezovich said the suspect then fired more rounds down the hallway, striking the other three students.
“We still have conflicting stories on what happened next but it sounds like some very courageous action on behalf of a Freeman School District employee stopped this active shooter situation,” Knezovich said.
KREM interviewed one parent who said the student who was killed and the suspect were “best of friends”
Governor Jay Inslee called the shooting at Freeman High School “heartbreaking” in statement. He added that “All Washingtonians are thinking of the victims and their families, and are grateful for the service of school staff and first responders working to keep our students safe.” Inslee promised that Washington State Patrol and all state agencies will do whatever they can to provide support and comfort.
Other state leaders are reacting to the shooting at Freeman High School.
State Superintendent Chris Reykdal says he has contacted the district and is offering any help. That includes mental health support for students and teachers. In a statement Reykdal says “As a parent, this is my worst fear. I grew up in a small town, and I know that Rockford’s citizens will unite and help each other get through this. We stand with the Freeman School District and their families.”
Senator Maria Cantwell tweeted, “Closely monitoring devastating news of the school shooting in Spokane County. My heart is with the Spokane community.”
Senator Patty Murray tweeted, “Heartbreaking headlines out of Spokane county. My thoughts are with students, teachers, parents, 1st responders & the entire community.”
State Senate Majority Leader Mark Schoesler issued a statement saying, “my heart goes out to my many friends in the Freeman District and the families and the students involved in this great tragedy.”
KREM-TV in Spokane reports a suspect is in custody following a shooting at Freeman High School this morning and that Spokane Fire officials confirmed the threat has been eliminated.
The TV station also reported Sacred Heart Hospital confirmed three victims were in stable condition following the shooting. Freeman School District is in Rockford, WA about 15 miles SE of Spokane. All Freeman School District and all Spokane School District schools went into lockdown but the Spokane District lifted the lockdown just before 11:30 a.m. Central Valley schools were also in a modified lockdown as a result of the incident.