1 dead, 3 injured in Washington school shooting

Spokane Valley Fire's Rescue Task Force responds to Freeman High School after a shooting killed one student, sent several to the hospital. (Courtesy: Spokane Firefighters)

Officials say one person was killed and at least three others were injured when a gunman opened fire at a high school near Spokane.

Brian Schaeffer of the Spokane Fire Department told reporters that one person died in the shooting Wednesday morning at Freeman High School in Rockford, south of Spokane. Schaeffer confirmed that the victim was a student at the school but not release any information about the victim’s age or gender.

Spokane County Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich said the shooter came to Freeman High School in Rockford armed with two weapons, and one jammed when he tried to fire it. The sheriff says a student approached the shooter and attempted to block him before he was shot and killed.

Knezovich says the gunman then shot three additional students before a school staff member stopped him.  The sheriff called it a courageous action by the staffer.

Three of the injured were taken to Sacred Heart Medical Center, a level 2 trauma center with a pediatric hospital. Hospital officials identified the three patients as teenagers.

“We had a highly organized and coordinated response in collaboration with our local first responders,” said Dr. Mike Moore, Chief Physician at Sacred Heart. “We received three patients from the shooting, and they’re all in stable condition. One patient will need additional surgery.

The Spokesman-Review reports Spokane County Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich said at the scene that the shooter was in custody.

The gunman hasn’t been identified, but classmates say there were some hints that the teen was planning something.

“He was handing out notes to his friends, and it said that he was going to do something stupid to where it might get him killed or in jail,” said Michael Harper, who identified himself as a friend of the suspect who received one of those notes at the beginning of the school year. Harper said at least two of the students who received notes turned them in to school counselors.

The Spokane County Sheriff’s Office along with Washington State Patrol are developing a case against the shooter.