Gia Soriano, 14, Marysville-Pilchuck shooting victim dies

KING 5's Michael Konopasek reports.

MARYSVILLE, Wash. - A 14-year-old girl who was wounded when a student opened fire inside a Washington state high school has died, raising the death toll in the shooting to three.

Gia Soriano died Sunday night, more than two days after she was shot, officials at Providence Regional Medical Center Everett said.

"We are devastated by this senseless tragedy," her family said in a statement, read at a news conference by Dr. Joanne Roberts. "Gia is our beautiful daughter, and words cannot express how much we will miss her."

Roberts said Gia's family was donating her organs for transplant.

The Snohomish County Medical Examiner's Office confirmed Monday that Zoe Galasso, 14, was also killed in Friday's shooting at Marysville-Pilchuck High School north of Seattle. Family members had previously identified her as a victim.

The shooter, Jaylen Fryberg, died at the scene of a self-inflicted wound.

Three other students remain hospitalized, two in critical condition and one upgraded Monday to satisfactory condition.

Earlier Sunday, parents and students gathered in a gymnasium at the school for a community meeting, with speakers urging support and prayers and tribal members playing drums and singing songs. Fryberg was from a prominent Tulalip Indian tribes family.

Young people hugged each other and cried and speakers urged people to come together during the gathering Sunday.

"We just have to reach for that human spirit right now," said Deborah Parker, a member of the Tulalip Indian tribes.

"Our legs are still wobbly," said Tony Hatch, a cousin of one of the injured students. "We're really damaged right now."

Harborview Medical Center in Seattle says 14-year-old Nate Hatch is in satisfactory condition Monday with a gunshot wound to his jaw. Spokeswoman Susan Gregg says he's awake and breathing on his own and still in the intensive care unit.

Another student at Harborview Medical Center, 15-year-old Andrew Fryberg, remains in critical condition in intensive care.

A 14-year-old girl, Shaylee Chuckulnaskit, remains in critical condition in intensive care at Providence Regional Medical Center in Everett.

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Fryberg died in the attack, after a first-year teacher intervened. It's unclear if he intentionally killed himself or if the gun went off in a struggle with a teacher.

The makeshift memorial on a chain link fence by the school, which will be closed this week, kept growing Sunday. Balloons honoring the victims and the shooter adorn the fence along with flowers, stuffed toys and signs.

The close-knit community, meanwhile, on the nearby Tulalip Indian reservation struggled with the news that the shooter was a popular teenager from one of their more well-known families.

A tribal guidance counsellor said no one knows what motivated Fryberg.

"We can't answer that question," said Matt Remle, who has an office at Marysville-Pilchuck High School, which is 30 miles north of Seattle. "But we try to make sense of the senselessness."

In the nearby community of Oso, where a mudslide this spring killed dozens, people planned to gather to write condolence letters and cards.

Remele said he knew Fryberg and the other students well.

"My office has been a comfort space for Native students," he said. "Many will come by and have lunch there, including the kids involved in the shooting."

They all were "really happy, smiling kids," Remle said. "They were a polite group. A lot of the kids from the freshman class were close-knit. Loving.

"These were not kids who were isolated," he said. "They had some amazing families, and have amazing families."

These factors make the shooting that much more difficult to deal with, "Maybe it would be easier if we knew the answer," Remle said. "But we may never know."

Full statement from the Soriano family:

"We are devastated by this senseless tragedy. Gia is our beautiful daughter and words cannot express how much we will miss her. We've made the decision to donate Gia's organs so that others may benefit. Our daughter was loving, kind and this gift honors her life.

"Thank you to Providence for their excellent care – bar none – from beginning to end. Thank you to our friends and family who have supported us. Thank you to Drs. Bill Finley, Sanford Wright and Anita Tsen for their tremendous support and compassion. And thank you, to Bill and Ben with LifeCenter.

"We ask that you please respect our privacy and give us the space and time we need to grieve and spend time together as a family in memory of Gia."


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