Fourteen year-old, Gia Soriano, who was shot by a high school classmate in Marysville-Pilchuck High School cafeteria on Friday died late Sunday, hospital officials said.
Soriano was sitting with her friends when Jaylen Ray Fryberg, also fourteen opened fire with a .40-caliber handgun during a lunch period, witnessed said. In a span of minutes, Fryberg had killed another classmate, Zoe R. Galasco, 14, and seriously wounded three others, three of his childhood friends and two of them his relatives.
Soriano’s family said in a statement posted on the Facebook page of Providence Regional Medical Center in Everett that her organs would be donated to help others. “We are devastated by this senseless tragedy. Gia is our beautiful daughter, and words cannot express how much we will miss her,” the family said.
Other details about the attack itself also began to emerge on Sunday, especially the role of a young teacher many students are calling a hero. Megan Silberberger, a teacher, was in a nearby office when she heard the shots, said Randy Davis, president of the Marysville Education Association.
“She ran into the cafeteria and saw students down,” said Davis Silberberger also saw a gunman. “She ran towards the shooter,” he said, “to stop . . . and help secure (him).” Davis would not reveal details of the confrontation, but one student who witnessed it said “She just grabbed his arm,” Erick Cervantes said. “She’s the one that intercepted him with the gun. He tried either reloading or tired aiming at her.” “I believe she’s actually the real hero.” Erick said.
Silberberger declined to be interviewed, but issues this statement: “I am thankful and grateful for the support from everyone. At this time I am requesting privacy.”
After Soriano’s death, three students remain hospitalized. Shaylee Chuckulnaskit 14, and Andrew Fryberg 15, are in critical condition. Nate Hatch 14, is in serious condition.
Fryberg came from a prominent family on the Tulalip Indian Reservation near Marysville, and the tribe’s chairman, Herman Williams Sr., issued a joint statement on Sunday with the city of Marysville, saying the two governments were collaborating fully in the investigation into the shooting, and the larger response in the community.
A law enforcement source with knowledge of the investigation told that was indeed having trouble reloading and that it was because his hands were trembling. Police have not yet said how many shots were fired, but Fryberg had at least one bullet left before the confrontation with Silberberger, because the final shot was the one that ended Fryberg life. A Beretta .40-caliber handgun believed to have been used in the shooting has been traced to Fryberg’s father, according to the source.
Witnesses say Fryberg, a popular freshman, about a week ago, he had been named the high school’s freshman homecoming prince.