Two dead after Washington high school shooting

Two dead after Washington high school shooting

Teenager shoots one person dead at Washington high school before killing himself

Students wait for family members in a nearby church after the shooting at Marysville-Pilchuck high school.Students wait for family members in a nearby church after the shooting at Marysville-Pilchuck high school.Photograph: Jason Redmond/Reuters

A student at a Washington state high school is dead after opening fire in the cafeteria, killing one person and seriously wounding four others before apparently turning the gun on himself.

The teenager opened fire with a handgun at Marysville-Pilchuck high school at about 10.40am on Friday, prompting chaos as hundreds of students and staff members fled and hid in classrooms.

Authorities placed the school in lockdown as police raced to the scene and sealed off the area, about 30 miles north of Seattle.

Local media identified the shooter as a freshman who had been a hunter and popular athlete. Some reports said he recently broke up with his girlfriend and had been the victim of bullying. Police did not immediately confirm the name.

The Seattle Times quoted two law enforcement sources who said he died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound. It was unclear if the other fatality, a female, was a staff member or student.

The four wounded were described as young. One, a male, was being treated for a jaw wound at Harborview medical center in Seattle.

Two girls and a boy were being treated for head wounds at Providence regional medical center. Dr Joanne Roberts, the chief medical officer, said they were in critical condition. “Each is suffering tremendously,” she told a press conference.

Doctors focused on stopping the bleeding and controlling swelling.

Witnesses told local media that they heard bangs in the cafeteria, followed by an alarm, prompting some to initially think it was a fire drill. Video taken from helicopter shortly afterwards showed hundreds of students fleeing buildings, some with their hands up, as police, fire and medical units arrived.

One student told Kiro TV that the shooter shot himself in the neck after struggling with a lunch lady who grabbed his arm. He called her a “real hero”. The report prompted an instant hashtag: #lunchladyhero.

Sudents were bussed to a nearby church while police searched the sprawling campus to make sure there were no additional gunmen or casualties.

Marysville police commander Robb Lamoureux told a news conference details were still scant. “The shooting did originate in the cafeteria as we understand it, and so there was some type of activity there in the cafeteria, it is known. I do not know where the deceased were located.”

He said the initial school sweep was complete and police were now starting a more secure grid check.

Barack Obama was briefed about the shooting. Marysville mayor, Jon Nehring, said: “Our priority right now is to stand with the families.” June Robinson, a state house representative, said the news “drives a knife through your heart.” She added: “We’re not immune to violence.”

Relatives of the shooting suspect clustered at the school and expressed shock. One, who identified himself as an uncle, told Kiro-TV that that the teenager was a popular boy who liked the outdoors and was “not a monster”.