MOSCOW, October 28 (RIA Novosti) — Investigators into a Washington school shooting have released more details about the incident, saying that the shooter, 15-year-old Jaylen Fryberg, arranged to meet his victims for lunch before opening fire on them.
Talking at a news conference on Monday about the shooting, Snohomish County Sheriff Ty Trenary said “We know that the shooter had arranged to meet with friends at the lunch hour on Friday. It is our understanding he did so via texting.”
“Witnesses confirm that the five victims were at the table when the shooter opened fire, striking the victims, before turning the gun on himself.”
Sheriff Trenary also confirmed at the conference that the.40-calibre Beretta used in the shooting had been bought legally and registered by a family member, and that police are still investigating how Fryberg obtained the weapon.
14-year-old Zoe Galasso was killed in the shooting, while another victim, Gia Sorino, 14, died on Sunday night. Shaylee Chuckulnaskit, 14, and Andrew Fryberg, 15, are both still in critical condition. Andrew Fryberg and another victim, Nathan Hatch, 15, are cousins of the shooter. Hatch’s condition has been upgraded to satisfactory, and he tweeted on Sunday: “I love you and I forgive you Jaylen rest in peace.”
The Daily Mail reports that Jaylen Fryberg had become upset when Zoe Galasso began dating his cousin Andrew Fryberg. Jaylen on his Twitter feed in recent months had written a series of posts showing a distressed state of mind.
However, Sheriff Trenary cautioned: “I think the question that everybody wants is why. And candidly, I don’t know that the why is something that we can provide.”
Paige Aker, a close friend of the victims, told CBS News “I don’t understand why. I just don’t understand what was going through his head that day.” She also told the channel that Fryberg had asked his entire circle of friends to meet him for lunch, although she didn’t go.
CBS News reported that a week before the shooting Fryberg had been named homecoming prince, and quoted a staff member at the school, who described the group of teenagers that were shot as “really happy, smiling kids,” and “a polite group.”
Police are to trawl through a mass of text messages, phone and social media records in an investigation which is set to last several months.