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Shooting at Spokane-Area High School Leaves 1 Dead, 3 Wounded

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A gunman shot and killed one student and injured three others at Freeman High School in Rockford, Washington, Wednesday morning (Sept. 13). The suspected shooter, identified as Caleb Sharpe, was detained by police.

Sharpe was armed with a semi-automatic rifle and handgun when he came to the school, southeast of Spokane near the Montana border. One gun he tried to use in the attack jammed. The student Sharpe killed, Sam Strahan, apparently had tried to intervene while all other students ran away; he is being hailed as a hero. Sharpe also shot and wounded three girls — Jordyn Goldsmith, Gracie Jensen and Emma Nees — all of whom are receiving treatment at Providence Sacred Heart Medical Center.

During the carnage, a school custodian at the school jumped in and took Sharpe down, disarming him before authorities arrived and arrested him.

“The shooter has been apprehended and taken into custody,” said Spokane Fire Chief Brian Schaeffer said.

Washington Governor Jay Inslee released a statement:

As Spokane County officials continue their investigation to get the answers to the questions so many of us have during these unthinkable tragedies, the Washington State Patrol and all state agencies will do whatever we can to help provide support and comfort in the days and weeks to come.

The shooting, along with threats of additional violence, has led to numerous school closings in the area, both in Washington and Montana.

“These are senseless and tragic events that really don’t need to happen,” Spokane County Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich said at a news conference on Wednesday. “And I don’t understand them. We need to figure out what’s going on in society that children think they need to take weapons to deal with the issues they’re facing.”

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