Today, some of the worst fears of parents, teachers, and students in Snohomish County’s second largest city were realized when a student, said to be a freshman and a member of the Tualip Tribe, opened fire in the cafeteria of Marysville Pilchuck High School, killing and wounding several people before apparently taking his own life. The tragedy unfolded at about 10:45 AM, according to news reports.
The tragedy is the eighty-seventh school shooting in America since the nightmare that took place in Newtown at Sandy Hook Elementary in December of 2012. Yes, you read that correctly: the eighty-seventh. The complete list is available here.
The alleged perpetrator is dead and the wounded have been taken to area hospitals, chiefly Providence in Everett. One gunshot victim was taken to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle; reportedly, he was shot in the jaw.
Police are been performing what’s called a grid search, after earlier completing a preliminary sweep of the campus, which is rather large. (More than two thousand students attend the high school). They now consider the campus secure.
Said the district:
We are actively working with law enforcement in identifying students and getting them home safely.
A student reunification center is located at the corner of 116th and 51st Street at the Shoultes Community Church. Support services for students and families are also available at this location.
All after school events have been cancelled district-wide.
This is an active police investigation. All media calls are being directed to local law enforcement. Additional information will be released as it becomes available.
We want to extend our thoughts and prayers to the families involved in this tragedy. When something happens to one of our children, it happens to all of us. We are working closely with law enforcement. Our thoughts are with all students, families, staff, and our communities during this time.
Schools are supposed to be places of learning, comfort, and safety. But today, Marysville Pilchuck High School turned into the site of a tragedy and a crime scene, like so many other schools before it. We are praying for the young people who are wounded and the good doctors and nurses who are trying to save them. May those medical professionals be successful, and may their patients make a full recovery.
But thoughts and prayers are not enough. We can’t allow these tragedies to continue to unfold, and not talk about the need for action to prevent any more of them. Right now, there is something that every one of us who is registered to vote in Washington State can DO. We can vote NO on I-591, and YES on I-594.
The defeat of 591 and passage of 594 will bring universal background checks to Washington State. By itself, I-594 will not end gun violence, but it will make a difference. Passage of 594 will prevent people from buying guns in Washington with no questions asked. I-594 will save lives.
Of course, there’s more we need to do. But it is within our power as a people to take this first step. These initiatives are before us, in our capacity as citizen lawmakers. Let’s change the law and make our communities safer by voting NO on I-591 and YES on I-594.
As Shannon Watts (founder of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America) said today: “Americans are tired of watching news helicopter footage of our children being led out of their schools – a place where they should be safe from the gun violence that kills eighty-six Americans every day.”
“After the tragedy at Sandy Hook, we started counting shootings in American schools and today’s is the 87th —three of which have occurred in Washington. Our children and teachers should not be the frontline of America’s gun violence. This is unacceptable. We need to do everything we can — and demand our leaders do the same — to prevent the next tragedy.”
Leah Bernstein, a Moms Demand Action member in Washington, agreed.
“As a mother with kids in school just miles down the road from Marysville, my heart is broken for the students and faculty of Marysville-Pilchuck High School, and for the entire community. When we send our kids to school each day, we shouldn’t have to worry about whether the next shooting will be at their school. As mothers committed to reducing gun violence, all of our thoughts and prayers are with these children and their families in the wake of this awful tragedy.”