MARYSVILLE, Wash. (TheBlaze/AP) — A student opened fire in a high school cafeteria north of Seattle on Friday, killing at least one person and shooting several others in the head, officials said. The gunman reportedly died of a self-inflicted gunshot, bringing the attack to an end.
Marysville Police Commander Robb Lamoureux said the shooter was a student at Marysville Pilchuck High School, but he could not provide more information including what prompted the shooting and who the suspect shot.
CNN and local news outlets identified the shooter as Jaylen Fryberg, described as a well-liked freshman student.
Four other young people were brought to Providence Everett medical center, said Chief Medical Officer Joanne Roberts. Three had head wounds and were in "critical" condition, while one considered stable enough to transport was taken to another medical center in Seattle, she said.
Students who were in the cafeteria at the time said the gunman stared at the students as he shot them. They described a chaotic scene at the school, located about 30 miles north of Seattle, as students started running away from the cafeteria and building after the shots were fired.
Student Alan Perez told KING-TV he was eating his lunch at a nearby table when he heard the gunshots.
"He had a little gun in his hand. I saw the flash from the muzzle," he 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 the campus for lunch when he saw students running from the school and trying to jump a fence. Parker let several of them in his car. He heard other students yelling for their friends: "Where are you?"
Parker would have been nearby if he had chosen to eat in the cafeteria, he said: "Leaving saved my life."
More from NBC News:
Bryce and other students said Fryberg "did have an incident the other day when a kid was being somewhat racist, and he punched him." Alan Perez, another student who was in the cafeteria during the shooting, said Fryberg "got into an argument with someone who made a racist comment" a couple of weeks ago.
"I'd understand if he was angry about that, but other than that, he wasn't bullied or anything like that," Alan told KING. "He seemed like he was really happy. He seemed like a popular kid."
Fryberg's social media accounts include photos of him wearing traditional Indian dress and making numerous references to the Tulalip Tribes and hunting. A law enforcement source told NBC News that the gunman Friday used a small pistol.
KIRO-TV captured images of students evacuating with their hands up:
Fryberg's apparent final tweets also emerged on Friday:
It won't last.... It'll never last....— Jaylen Fryberg (@frybergj) October 23, 2014
Read more here.
A crowd of parents waited in the 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.
The latest school shooting in the region happened at Seattle Pacific University, where a gunman killed one student and wounded two others on June 5.