One person has been killed and three others wounded after a shooter opened fire at a high school in Washington state on Wednesday, authorities said.
Brian Schaeffer of the Spokane Fire Department told reporters that one person died at Freeman High School in the tiny town of Rockford (population 500), south of Spokane, and three injured victims were taken to a hospital.
Spokane County Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich said at the scene that the shooter was in custody, The Spokesman-Review newspaper reported.
Worried parents rushed to get to the school, which is located near the Idaho border, about 25 miles southeast of Spokane. The two-lane road into town was clogged with worried parents, according to news reports.
Cheryl Moser said her son, a freshman at Freeman High School, called her from a classroom after hearing shots fired.
“He called me and said, ‘Mom there are gunshots.’ He sounded so scared. I’ve never heard him like that,” Moser told the newspaper. “You never think about something happening like this at a small school.”
Ambulances and a Lifeflight helicopter were sent to the school.
Another mom, Stephanie Lutje, told The Associated Press that she was relieved to hear her son was safe after his high school near Freeman was put on lockdown. She commended the school district for its communication with parents.
“It’s been amazing, within probably 15-20 minutes of hearing about it, I’d already received a phone call, I’d already received a text message saying that their school is OK,” she said.
Unfortunately, a co-worker still hadn’t yet heard from her son, a sophomore at Freeman.
“My stomach’s in knots right now,” she said.
Governor Jay Inslee said in a statement that “all Washingtonians are thinking of the victims and their families, and are grateful for the service of school staff and first responders working to keep our students safe.”
This is a developing story.
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