Jaylen Fryberg was a popular student. He had recently been crowned homecoming prince and was a football player. Teachers at the school saw him as a future community leader, reports ABC News.
Fryberg was a member of a prominent family in the Tulalip Tribe. Tribe member and state Sen. John McCoy told media that Fryberg was “highly regarded” at the school. The fact that Fryberg, 14, shot five people, killing one, before he turned the gun on himself has those who knew him struggling to understand how this could have happened.
“A lot of folks were considering him that he would move up the culture ranks and become a leader. He had that kind of charisma and raw talent,” Sen. McCoy told ABC News.
The students who Fryberg shot were all family and close friends of the teenager.
“My grandson and the shooter were best friends. They grew up together and did everything together,” said Donald Hatch, grandfather of one of the victims.
Shooting victim Andrew Fryberg has undergone surgery for a head wound at the Providence Regional Medical Center. Fryberg is listed in critical condition.
Shaylee Chuckulnaskit and Gia Soriano, both 14, are also listed in critical condition.
According to Yahoo News, a newly hired social studies teacher, Meghan Silberberger, confronted Fryberg and is now being hailed as a hero. Silberberger intercepted Fryberg as he paused, possibly to reload his gun, KIRO-TV reported.
Rachel Pomeroy, a junior at the school, spoke to Fryberg the day before the shooting.
“He was fine the day before. He was being sassy, as always, and good,” Pomeroy said.
Pomeroy also stated that Fryberg had just come off a suspension for a fight before the shooting.
Fryberg appeared to be a normal teen; he enjoyed video games, hunting, Facebook, and counted Adele and 50 Cent among his favorite recording artists.
His Twitter account does give the world some insight into his mental state just days before the shooting. His tweets were clearly filled with angst.
On October 20, he tweeted, “Alright. You f***** got me…. That broke me.”
On October 21 he tweeted, “It breaks me… It actually does… I know it seems like I’m sweating it off… But I’m not.. And I never will be able to.”
Later that day Fryberg added, “I should have listened…. You were right… The whole time you were right…If I just laid down…”
“It won’t last…. It’ll never last,” his final tweet read on Thursday.
The search for answers continues, as this small Washington State community grieves.