The shooting took place at Freeman High School in Rockford, Washington, on Wednesday shortly after 10am.
The teenage gunman opened fire in the hallway, pulling two weapons on students and staff. One of the weapons jammed but he picked up the other and opened fire.
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None of the victims’ ages have been released but the injured youths were described as being in their ‘mid-teens’.
Spokane County Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich said the gunman had been bullied and that this fuelled his rampage.
‘It sounds like a case of bullying type of situation,’ he said on Wednesday afternoon.
‘It sounds like he tried to walk up and tell him,”this isn’t what you wanna do.”‘
The gunman is under 18 and is still being questioned.
Other students say that in the days before the shooting, he talked about watching documentaries about other school shootings and had passed notes threatening to ‘do something stupid that would get him killed.’
‘At Freeman Elementary currently. I am a junior, evacuated from the high school. At least 4 shot,’ one student wrote.
Sheriff’s deputies went ‘floor to floor’, ‘room to room’ to search the school building to account for all of its students.
At around 11.30am, Fire Department Chief Brian Schaeffer said there was no longer a threat.
‘The fire department responded collectively with sheriff’s office.
‘They organized together as soon as they arrived and their mission was to go in and neutralize or locate and neutralize the person who had the weapon and immediately start to care for any victims they found.
‘They did that successfully,’ he said.
‘The shooter has been apprehended and taken into custody with law enforcement.’
One child who was interviewed outside the school after being evacuated claimed the shooter was one of his best friends.
He said he brought the weapon to school in a duffel bag and that the boy had been watching documentaries about other school shootings before Wednesday’s incident.
‘We were all crying and texting. We heard the gunshot and heard everyone running and screaming.’
Other students said the shooter was passing out notes saying he was planning on doing ‘something stupid that could get him killed’.
He said the alleged gunman sent him photographs of a school shooting documentary he’d been watching recently but that he never imagined he would ever commit such violence.
‘I was thinking that maybe it wasn’t my friend but then I had an idea it was all the documentaries he’s been watching and thinking he sent me a picture on Snapchat when we were talking and it was a documentary and I was like: “There’s no way he could do this! Now I’m thinking he might actually have gone through with it.’
The three children were rushed to the Sacred Heart Medical Center, 16 miles away.
One girl who was evacuated from the school said her cousin was among those injured.
‘She got shot int he side and it’s, we don’t know if it’s lodged in her spine or her colon but we know it’s pretty critical,’ she told KHQ.
The hospital has since revealed that all students it is caring for are in a stable condition.
‘We have three teenagers with us and they’re all doing well. They’re stable. One will be requiring some surgery this afternoon but that’s it so we are thrilled to report that,’ Dr. Michael Moore said.
He said the hospital did not know how many students would come through their doors for treatment when they received the first reports of the shooting.
They prepared eight operating rooms, he said, which mostly lay empty.
Washington Governor Jay Inslee said the shooting was ‘heartbreaking’. ‘All Washingtonians are thinking of the victims and their families.
‘We’re grateful for the service of school staff and first responders working to keep our students safe,’ he said in a tweet.