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Three of the students injured Friday during a deadly school shooting north of Seattle were in critical condition Saturday, with a fourth in serious condition, hospital officials said.
Two male victims, who were identified Saturday as Nate Hatch, 14, and Andrew Fryberg, 15, are being treated at Harborview Medical Center Seattle. Hatch's grandfather said the boys are cousins of the shooter, Jaylen Ray Fryberg, a freshman football player at Marysville Pilchuck High School — the chaotic scene of Friday morning's violence. “They’re just three complete buddies, and they couldn't be closer than three brothers,” Don Hatch told TODAY, referring to the gunman, who died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound, and the two injured boys, who remain in intensive care.
Nate Hatch suffered a jaw injury and was in serious condition Saturday, said hospital spokeswoman Susan Gregg. His grandfather said he gained consciousness overnight but could not talk because he is intubated. Andrew Fryberg was in critical condition with a head injury after undergoing “extensive surgery,” officials added.
Two female victims — Shaylee Chuckulnaskit and Gia Soriano, both 14 — suffered head wounds when Fryberg opened fire in the school cafeteria with a .40 caliber handgun, police and hospital officials said. Fryberg also killed a female student at the scene, but officials have not identified her.
The two injured girls are in critical condition and are “being monitored moment by moment” at Providence Regional Medical Center in Everett, said the hospital’s chief medical officer. “The next three days are going to be crucial,” Dr. Joanne Roberts added.
The girls’ families are by the patients’ bedsides, and “just grieving,” Roberts said. “We’ve seen tears, we’ve seen anger,” she said. Soriano’s family said in a statement that they are in “shock.”
Investigators with the Snohomish County Multiple Agency Response Team spent Friday night investigating inside the school in Marysville, about 35 miles north of Seattle, but did not immediately provide a motive for the shooting. Some classmates said Fryberg had recently gotten into an argument with another student that had racial overtones, and law enforcement sources claim he may have been in a recent dispute over a girl.
More than 100 student witnesses have been interviewed, the Snohomish County Sheriff's Office said. Their investigation found that a school employee also tried to stop Fryberg.
Randy Davis, the president of the Marysville Education Association, told NBC News that he has heard from school district officials that Megan Silberberger, a social studies teacher, “did play a part in trying to stop the shooting.” This is Silberberger’s first year as a full-time teacher at the school, Davis said.
“I am thankful and grateful for the support from everyone. At this time I am requesting privacy,” Silberberger said, according to a tweet from the Marysville School District.
“We’re just trying to deal with it and cope with it,” added Davis, who said he spoke with the teacher by phone on Saturday.
Fellow students have described Fryberg as a “nice guy,” who was proud of his Native American heritage and a member of the Tulalip Tribes, as well as the school's wrestling and football teams. He had also recently been crowned freshman homecoming prince.
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— Elisha Fieldstadt