Stu­dent killed con­fronting shooter

Teen sus­pect was de­scribed as be­ing ob­sessed with pre­vi­ous school shoot­ings

The Progress-Index - - OUT & ABOUT - By Ni­cholas K. Geranios The As­so­ci­ated Press

ROCK­FORD, Wash. — A stu­dent who opened fire in a hall­way at a Wash­ing­ton state high school killed a class­mate who con­fronted him Wed­nes­day and wounded three oth­ers be­fore be­ing stopped by a staff mem­ber, author­i­ties said.

The sus­pect, who a class­mate de­scribed as be­ing ob­sessed with pre­vi­ous school shoot­ings, was taken into cus­tody. The wounded vic­tims were ex­pected to sur­vive, of­fi­cials said.

The shooter brought two weapons to Free­man High School in Rock­ford, south of Spokane, but the first one he tried to fire jammed, Spokane County Sher­iff Ozzie Kne­zovich told re­porters.

“He went to his next weapon,” Kzen­ovich said. “A stu­dent walked up to him, en­gaged him, and that stu­dent was shot. That stu­dent did not sur­vive.”

The sher­iff said the shooter fired more rounds down the hall­way, strik­ing the other stu­dents, be­fore a school staffer could stop him. Kzen­ovich called it a coura­geous act that pre­vented fur­ther blood­shed.

Elisa Vigil, a 14-yearold fresh­man, told The As­so­ci­ated Press that she saw one male stu­dent shot in the head who jan­i­tors cov­ered with a cloth and an­other fe­male stu­dent wounded in the back.

Michael Harper, a 15-year-old sopho­more, said the sus­pect had brought notes in the be­gin­ning of the school year, say­ing he was go­ing to do “some­thing stupid” and might get killed or jailed. Some stu­dents alerted coun­selors, the teen told AP, but it wasn’t clear what school of­fi­cials did in re­sponse.

A call to the school was not im­me­di­ately re­turned. Harper said the shooter had many friends and was not bul­lied, call­ing him “nice and funny and weird” and a huge fan of the TV show “Break­ing Bad.” He also said the sus­pect was ob­sessed with other school shoot­ings.

Stu­dents say the shooter was armed with a pis­tol and ri­fle and had car­ried a duf­fel bag to school. Af­ter shots were fired, stu­dents went run­ning and scream­ing down the hall­ways, Harper said.

[NI­CHOLAS K. GERANIOS/THE AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS]

Cars and emer­gency ve­hi­cles are seen in front of Free­man High School on Wed­nes­day in Rock­ford, Wash. Author­i­ties say a shooter opened fire at the school. A sus­pect was ap­pre­hended.

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