Authorities have confirmed one person is dead and three more have been injured after the shooting at Freeman High School. The suspect is in custody.
Sheriff Knezovich said in a press conference the shooter, a sophomore identified by witnesses as Caleb Sharpe, pulled out a gun during school and it jammed. Knezovich says Sharpe grabbed another gun and was confronted by a student, identified by our partners at the Spokesman Review as Sam Strahan. Knezovich says Strahan was shot and killed.
“I was putting my backpack away and I heard a loud pop, and I turned around. He was walking around,” said Elisa Vigil, a 14-year-old freshman told The Spokesman Review. “He had his pistol. His face was completely passive. He shot someone in the head. I crouched down in the hall. I looked up and a girl screamed, ‘Help me, help me, help me.’ The hall was empty. She was shot in the back. I looked to my right, and there was a boy and he was shot in the head.”
The shooting killed Strahan, and sent three girls to the emergency room at Providence Sacred Heart Medical Center. They are Emma Neese, Jordan Goldsmith and Gracie Jensen, according to The Spokesman Review. Sacred Heart confirms they are all "doing well."
Knezovich says it was the heroic action of a custodian who approached Sharpe and "ordered him to surrender." A School Resource Officer who was nearby at the middle school then arrived and took Sharpe into custody.
Witnesses said Sharpe rode a bus to school Wednesday with the guns stashed in a duffel bag.
Sources have told KHQ's Hayley Guenthner a hearing will be held on Thursday to request Sharpe be declined as juvenile and tried as an adult.
Freeman High School serves more than 300 students in the small community of Rockford. First responders from several neighboring jurisdictions responded to the shooting. Officials were urging motorists not to use Highway 27 so that ambulances and other vehicles could get through.
Witnesses are still being interviewed.
"The Spokane County Sheriff’s Office would like express our most sincere condolences to the families involved in this tragic event and to thank the entire Freeman community for their patience today during this incident," Deputy Mark Gregory said in a press release on Wednesday.
U.S. Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers tweeted, “Awful — just hearing of the shooting at Freeman HS near Spokane. As we continue to get more details my heart goes out to all impacted.”
And Gov. Jay Inslee’s office issued a statement shortly after noon: “All Washingtonians are thinking of the victims and their families, and are grateful for the service of school staff and first responders working to keep our students safe. As Spokane County officials continue their investigation to get the answers to the questions so many of us have during these unthinkable tragedies, the Washington State Patrol and all state agencies will do whatever we can to help provide support and comfort in the days and weeks to come.”
Vigils are scheduled for Wednesday night at the following places:
- Prayer Vigil at St. John's Cathedral
- 7pm - Tonight
- Valley Real Life
- 6:30-8pm - Tonight
- 6pm-6:30 - Tomorrow (Thursday, Sept. 14th)
- Fairfield Community Church
- 206 W. Hamilton, Fairfield, WA
- 7pm - Tonight
- River Park Square