October 24, 2014 - 1:35 PM
MARYSVILLE, Wash. - A student opened fire in a high school cafeteria north of Seattle on Friday, killing at least one person and wounding four other students, officials said. The gunman also died in the attack.
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, who the gunman was and who he shot.
Four students were brought to Providence Everett medical center, said hospital spokeswoman Heidi Amrine. Three were in "very critical" condition, while one considered stable enough to transport was taken to another medical center in Seattle, she said. It was not immediately clear if the person who died was one of those brought to Providence Everett medical center.
Police were going room by room, searching the school about 30 miles north of Seattle, to make sure it was safe.
"It is an active scene," Lamoureux said. "We do ask parents to please stay away."
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 nearby if he had chosen to eat in the cafeteria, he said: "Leaving saved my life."
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 spokesperson 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.
Associated Press photographer Ted Warren contributed to this report from Marysville, and AP writers Gene Johnson and Martha Bellisle contributed to this report from Seattle.
News from © The Associated Press, 2014