A week after high-schooler Jaylen Fryberg opened fire on his friends for no known reason, a third Marysville-Pilchuck High School shooting victim has died, raising the total death toll from the tragic incident to four. 14-year-old Shaylee Chuckulnaskit succumbed to severe injuries sustained in the shooting, the Providence Regional Medical Center said in a statement, and passed away at 4:44 p.m. Friday. Two others, the gunman's cousins, remain in hospital.
Four people — including Fryberg himself — have died since the day the teen invited his friends to lunch in the school's cafeteria, pulled out his gun and shot them all at close range. Fryberg died from self-sustained injuries that same day, after he turned the gun on himself, and 14-year-old Zoe Glasso was the first of the victims to pass away from her injuries on Friday. On Sunday, 14-year-old Gia Soriano was pronounced dead as well.
Chuckulnaskit's family released a heart-wrenching statement Friday, remembering the young girl as a "caring daughter and loving sister." They said:
Our hearts are broken at the passing of our beautiful daughter.Shay means everything to us. In Shay’s short life she has been a radiant light bringing us incredible joy and happiness. She has been a loving daughter, a caring sister, a devoted friend and a wonderful part of our community. We can’t imagine life without her.
Only the shooter's cousins remain in hospital, now. 14-year-old Nate Hatch has, according to the AP, undergone surgery to fix his jaw, and is now in satisfactory condition. Andrew Fryberg, on the other hand, is in Seattle's Harborview Medical Center intensive care unit, and in critical condition.
Earlier this week, the Tulalip Tribes — of which Jaylen Fryberg was a part — held an emotional service for Fryberg on the Tulalip Indian Reservation, but issued a statement distancing themselves from the teen, saying:
All of the young people he attacked were his friends, and two were his cousins. Parents and children alike are struggling to understand what caused him to act in such a manner. Even though we may never know why, there can be no justification for taking the lives of others. These were the acts of an individual, not a family, not a tribe.
Until the police's investigation is over — a process that is likely to take several months — it will remain a mystery, why Jaylen Fryberg targeted that particular group of people, including his two cousins. By all accounts, he was a happy, popular kid, recently named homecoming prince — though his Instagram and Twitter do suggest a darker side, obsessed with firearms and an ex-girlfriend.