Police recordings detail response to Marysville school shootings

MARYSVILLE — Within moments of the gunfire, a police officer reached the cafeteria at Marysville Pilchuck High School.

His initial assessment: Two victims breathing and alive. Shooter dead. Three others also apparently gone.

For hours afterward, officers conducted a thorough sweep of the sprawling school grounds, providing an armed escort off campus while making sure there was no additional danger.

Police emergency radio traffic from the first few hours was released Thursday to the media under state public records laws. Recordings of the 911 calls, along with the radio traffic for firefighters and paramedics, have not yet been made public.

The officers are calm and precise. In the midst of the confusion, they were clearing buildings and moving students to safety just as they had practiced.

One of the first officers on scene only knew the high school was being evacuated for a fire alarm, according to the recordings.

The dispatchers asked his location. The officer responded: “M.P.” — local shorthand for Marysville Pilchuck.

A shooting has been reported in one of the school’s cafeterias, the dispatcher told the officer.

Moments later: “It is confirmed we have a shooter. We have five down.” Then: “Shooter is DOA. We have got apparently four (victims.)”

Then: “Four down. One deceased.”

Many of the transmissions were followed by seconds of silence broken only by beeping radio tones that alerted officers to keep off the air because an emergency had been declared.

One officer asked another for confirmation of the casualty toll. The answer: “1 down, four shot, 1 is confirmed down and dead.”

Then: “I need aid here. I have two that are still breathing and alive. Looks like I have three possibly deceased.”

Students were hiding in groups inside closets. At one point, an officer says: “Have we identified a collection point for all of the innocents to go to in the parking lot? Or are we still sheltering in place?”

Students who were witnesses to the gunfire in the cafeteria were kept in a separate location. Officers tied ribbons to doors of rooms that had been searched and already declared clear of threats. Arrangements were made for moving special-needs students. Officers kept police commanders up to date on what they were finding.

“Be advised, there are classrooms with teachers still in them that are not coming out,” one reported. “They’re still barricaded. They’re giving us the OK that they’re all fine. We’ll clear them on a back sweep.”

In another corner of the campus: a worker was “taking cover in a back room. That’s it. She’s not coming out.”

“Has anybody been left with her?”

“We can see her from here. We can see the building.”

At one point during the hours of searching, officers were told to stop for a few minutes. Police commanders used the break to double check that every key task was being completed and without duplication.

Other recordings of the day have not been released.

Today marks one week since the shooting. Students and teachers are preparing to return on Monday. A funeral is set for Saturday.

Two teens remain hospitalized, fighting for their lives.

Victim Shaylee Chuckulnaskit, 14, remains in critical condition at Providence Regional Medical Center Everett. She was shot in the head.

Andrew Fryberg, 15, remains in critical condition in intensive care, also at Harborview Medical Center in Seattle, where he is being closely monitored by specialists, hospital spokeswoman Susan Gregg said. He was shot in the head.

Nate Hatch, 14, underwent a successful surgery at Harborview Thursday. He is listed in satisfactory condition. More surgeries are planned to fix damage to his jaw from a gunshot wound.

“Both families are appreciative of the outpouring of support they have received from so many in the community,” Gregg said.

A family funeral for Zoe Raine Galasso, 14, who died in the Oct. 24 shooting, is set for Saturday. An obituary in The Herald Thursday said that services for victim Gia Soriano, 14, will be held at a later date.

Police have said new information from their investigation won’t be made public anytime soon. Their clock has slowed as they focus on weeding out rumors and determining facts from witnesses and physical evidence. Their case eventually will become public, a process that could take more than a year.

Public events to honor the victims will continue Friday. Archbishop J. Peter Sartain of the Archdiocese of Seattle is expected to speak at two local churches. He will celebrate a memorial Mass at 11 a.m. Friday at St. Mary’s Catholic Church at 4200 88th St. NE, Marysville.

Then Sartain will lead a special prayer service at 1:30 p.m. at the Mission of St. Anne, 7231 Totem Beach Road, Tulalip.

On Friday night, there is a football doubleheader at Quil Ceda Stadium — the field on the Marysville Pilchuck campus. Marysville Getchell takes on Lynnwood at 5 p.m. before Marysville Pilchuck plays Meadowdale in the Wesco 3A championship at 8 p.m. Meadowdale and Marysville Getchell players will wear special “MP” decals on their helmets.

Marysville fans are expected to wear black and Meadowdale is encouraging spectators to wear white to honor Marysville Pilchuck, with the latter distributing red and white ribbons to fans.

Classes at the school of 1,200 students are expected to start at 10:30 a.m. Monday. The district hopes to see as many Marysville Pilchuck alumni as possible assemble at the stadium at 11 a.m. to cheer on the students, who will walk into the stadium at noon.

The alumni are asked to gather at the nearby Fred Meyer, Kmart and the Mountain View Presbyterian Church, not on campus.

As has happened in Marysville and elsewhere around Western Washington this week, school administrators in Arlington spent part of Thursday investigating threats made to some Arlington High School students through social media.

Students reported their concerns early Thursday morning and police and school officials are investigating.

The school did not need to be locked down, but the district is taking precautions, district spokeswoman Andrea Conley said.

Also on Thursday, more than 1,000 people converged on the Tulalip Tribes’ community center to observe funeral rites for the shooter, Jaylen Fryberg, a 15-year-old tribal member.

In recent days the tribes have privately marked the death with drumming, singing, dancing and stories.

The tribes on Wednesday released a statement denouncing what they called the teen’s “horrific actions.” Those were the “acts of an individual, not a family, not a tribe,” the statement said.

Death within the tribes is a time for families and friends to gather privately to grieve. On the reservation, the practice is that when one tribal member goes, everybody comes.

The Tulalips “are supporting the family of Jaylen Fryberg in their time of loss, but that does not mean we condone his actions,” the statement said.

The tribes asked for privacy surrounding the memorial services.

Inside the recreation center, tribal police and others wore armbands that read “In Loving Memory” of Jaylen.

Mourners also wore white ribbons with photos of Gia and Zoe.

Reporters David Krueger, Aaron Swaney and Eric Stevick contributed to this story. Rikki King: 425-339-3449; rking@heraldnet.com.

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