Hundreds of people lined the entrance to a Washington state high school as it reopened Monday, more than a week after a student fatally shot three of his classmates, wounded two others and then killed himself.
Waving well-wishers, many holding candles, greeted students returning to Marysville-Pilchuck High School following the Oct. 24 shooting. People cheered as buses and cars entered the school campus.
“It’s emotional, for sure,” said Deidre Butler, a local resident.
“It’s incredible that everybody came together like this. It’s still hard to believe that it actually happened right here.”
A 10:30 a.m. assembly started the school day, and lunch was in the gym because the cafeteria where the shooting took place remains closed. The normal class schedule, with its earlier start, resumes Tuesday.
Washington Gov. Jay Inslee asked residents to wear red and white — the school colors.
The colors stand out vividly in a memorial with flowers, balloons and messages of love that covers the fence around the school.
“I think it’s going to be huge for the kids to realize that they’re not alone walking this journey, that they have way more support than their small circle,” said Tammie Clifford, a local resident and an alumna of the school.
The shooter, Jaylen Fryberg, 15, a popular freshman who had recently been named a homecoming prince, died of a self-inflicted wound after opening fire.
Zoe Galasso, 14, was killed during the shooting; Gia Soriano, 14, died Oct. 26; and Shaylee Chuckulnaskit, 14, died Friday.
Two other students remain hospitalized at Harborview Medical Center in Seattle. Andrew Fryberg, 15, was in critical condition and Nate Hatch, 14, was in satisfactory condition. Both are Jaylen Fryberg’s cousins.
SOURCE: MANUEL VALDES