In a statement released Wednesday, the Tulalip Tribes said members “denounce the horrific actions of Jaylen Fryberg,” who shot five friends at Marysville-Pilchuck High School on Friday before killing himself.
“All of the young people he attacked were his friends, and two were his cousins,” the statement reads. “Parents and children alike are struggling to understand what caused him to act in such a manner. Even though we may never know why, there can be no justification for taking the lives of others. These were the acts of an individual, not a family, not a tribe.”
Fryberg, 15, texted the other students on Friday morning asking them to all meet him for lunch, Snohomish County Sheriff Ty Trenary said Monday. Once the five were seated at a round table in the school’s main cafeteria, Fryberg opened fire with a handgun, fatally shooting two and wounding three others before taking his own life.
Killed were Zoe Galasso and Gia Soriano, both 14. Wounded were Shaylee Chuckulnaskit, 14, and Andrew Fryberg, 15, who are both in critical condition;. and Nate Hatch, 14, who is in satisfactory condition.
“As our communities continue to come together to deal with this tragic event, our thoughts and prayers continue to go out to the families of Zoe Galasso and Gia Soriano,” the statement says. “We continue to pray for the recovery of Andrew Fryberg, Nate Hatch, and Shaylee Chuckulnaskit and their families.”
The statement says it is a Tulalip custom to come together in times of grief.
“The tribe holds up our people who are struggling through times of loss,” it says. “We are supporting the family of Jaylen Fryberg in their time of loss, but that does not mean we condone his actions.”
The statement indicates the Marysville School District has received threats, some of which have been directed at tribal children. “Many of our kids are fearful to return to school, and some parents are reluctant to send them,” the statement says.
The shooting “is a test of the unity and partnership between the Tulalip and Marysville communities,” the statement says.