The families of five students who were shot by a classmate at Marysville-Pilchuck High School are seeking up to $110 million in damages from the school district and the shooter's father.
The claim for damages was submitted to Marysville School District on Friday, a little over a year after Jaylen Fryberg, 15, opened fire in a school cafeteria, killing Gia Soriano, Zoe Gallaso, Shaylee Chuckulnaskit, all 14, and Andrew Fryberg, 15. Nate Hatch, 15, was wounded in the gunfire, but survived.
The claim was filed by Tacoma law firm Connelly Law Offices and is a precursor to a lawsuit.
On October 24, 2014, Jaylen Fryberg invited the five friends to sit with him during lunchtime in the school cafeteria. As the students sat at the table, witnesses say Fryberg pulled out a handgun and fired multiple shots, killing four and wounding a fifth. Jaylen Fryberg died at the scene from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
According to the claim, a substitute teacher notified Marysville-Pilchuck High School staff after hearing a rumor from students about a shooting, day(s) before it happened. But despite the warning, school staff "failed to take reasonable steps and/or precautions to provide for the safety of the students on the day of the shooting."
According to the claim, the substitute teacher Rosemary Cooper "said a lot of kids were gathering around one student who was playing on his cell phone. Cooper described the students as laughing and cheering. At one point, a student approached her and apologized for the class. Cooper said the student told her the other students were acting up because there was a tweet going around indicating there was going to be a shooting on Friday October 24th at 10:00 a.m.in the cafeteria. Cooper said she didn't know the name of the student but did describe him. Cooper told us she left a note on Mr. Gabrio's desk or in the substitute folder which was turned in to the office. Cooper said she told the ‘attendance lady' about the ‘tweet.' Cooper said she was informed that the school was aware of it and not to worry about it."
The claim also says moments before the shooting, Jaylen Fryberg texted more than a dozen of his relatives and the families of his would-be victims, apologizing for his actions, explaining his motives and laid out plans for his funeral.
The families also blames Jaylen Fryberg's father, Raymond Fryberg, for not properly securing his firearm to prevent his son from accessing it. In September, Raymond Fryberg was found guilty on six counts of illegally owning firearms, including the .40 –caliber Beretta handgun his son used in the shooting.
Raymond Fryberg is scheduled to be sentenced on January 11.
The claim concludes "…by failing to properly supervise and monitor Jaylen Fryberg despite a clear and imminent history of danger that was posed to the other students, to include failing to properly investigate and impose discipline in relation to prior on and off campus conflicts, and failing to provide adequate school security, the Marysville School District No. 25, and Raymond Fryberg, are liable for the tragic injuries identified herein."