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School Shooter Invited Victims to Lunch by Text

But Jaylen Fryberg's motive remains elusive, sheriff says
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Oct 27, 2014 5:12 PM CDT
Sheriff: School Shooter Invited Victims by Text
Elijah McGourty, 15, upper left, hugs his sister Kylah, 16, as they are comforted by their mother, Mary McGourty, right, on Oct. 27, 2014 in Marysville, Wash.   (Ted S. Warren)

(Newser) – A popular student responsible for a shooting at a Washington state high school on Friday invited his victims to lunch by text message, then shot them at their table, investigators say today. Snohomish County Sheriff Ty Trenary says at a news conference that the five students were at a lunch table when they were shot by 15-year-old Jaylen Fryberg. Fryberg then committed suicide. Detectives are digging through reams of text messages, phone and social media records as part of an investigation that could take months, Trenary says. "The question everybody wants is, 'Why?'" says Trenary. "I don't know that the 'why' is something we can provide." Fryberg, a football player who was named a prince on the school's Homecoming court one week before the killings, seemed happy although he was also upset about a girl, friends say.

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On Friday, after texting five friends to invite them to lunch, Fryberg pulled out a handgun in the cafeteria and started shooting. The victims were Zoe R. Galasso, 14, who died at the scene; Gia Soriano, 14, who died at a hospital last night; Shaylee Chuckulnaskit, 14, who remains in critical condition; and his two cousins, Nate Hatch, 14, and Andrew Fryberg, 15. Hatch, who was shot in the jaw, is the only victim who has shown improvement. He was upgraded to satisfactory condition today in intensive care in Seattle, while Andrew Fryberg remained in critical condition there. Trenary also confirms that the .40-caliber handgun used in the shooting had been legally purchased by one of Fryberg's relatives. It remains unclear how Fryberg obtained the weapon. (Read more school shooting stories.)

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