Three students were seriously injured and one was killed in a shooting that happened at Freeman High School yesterday. The shooter has been booked into Spokane County Juvenile Detention Center for one count 1st Degree Murder and three counts Attempted 1st Degree Murder. The Spokane County Sheriff’s Office would like express our most sincere condolences to the families involved in this tragic event and again thank the entire Freeman community for their patience during this incident. We continue to ask for their patience as the investigation proceeds.
Yesterday, September 13, 2017, just after 10:00am, the Spokane County Sheriff’s Office received multiple reports of shots fired at Freeman High School, 14626 S. Jackson Rd., in Rockford WA. Multiple agencies responded to the scene. There was already a deputy, the School Resource Officer, at the nearby Freeman Middle School on an unrelated incident.
At this time we have learned, after finding documents belonging to the suspect, he had been planning this attack prior to the incident yesterday. How long ago he started to plan this attack is still being investigated. The suspect carried the two firearms, an AR style rifle and a handgun, in a black duffle bag he placed with other bags in the storage area of his school bus as he traveled to school yesterday morning. Once at school, he removed the rifle from the duffle bag on the second floor of the school, but appeared to have difficulty loading the gun.
The deceased, a 15 year-old male, contacted the suspect, also a 15 year old male. The suspect then pulled the handgun from his waistband and shot the deceased twice. The suspect then started shooting indiscriminately, seriously injuring three other students before a custodian at the school approached him and ordered him to surrender. Those students were all female; two are 14 years of age and one is 15 years old. Shortly after that, the deputy, who was at the middle school, arrived and took the shooter into custody.
Arriving units formed entry teams and immediately started clearing the school which was a very lengthy process. The high school students were moved to the football field and later released to their parents. As a precaution, the middle and elementary schools went into instant lock down.
This incident required a tremendous response from our partners from all corners of Spokane County: Washington State Patrol, Spokane Police Department, City of Spokane Fire Department, Valley Fire, Spokane County Fire District 8, ATF, FBI and Border Patrol are just a few of the agencies who responded to assist and we greatly appreciate their help.
To the community of Freeman; our hearts are with you during this tragedy. Thank you so much for your patience, understanding and kind words today while dealing with this horrific incident.
The Spokane County Medical Examiner’s Office will release the name of the deceased at a later time when/if appropriate to do so.
Anyone who has not already been contacted by law enforcement and has other information related to the incident is urged to call Crime Check at 509-456-2233. Anyone who has not already been contacted by law enforcement and has cell phone video/pictures or other information related to the incident is urged to upload and email investigators at [email protected] .
****MEDIA: The School District has asked that no media park or come on to school property. We also ask that you DO NOT park along Highway 27 as this creates very hazardous driving conditions. Jackson Road will be closed from Highway 27, south past the schools. Please only park at the south roadblock if you come to the scene. Thank you.
The families involved and school staff have asked for the media to respect their privacy during this very emotional and tragic time. PLEASE do not contact them and stay away from their residences. They will contact you if/when they decide to make a statement.