Survivor of Marysville school shooting told police Gia Soriano wasn't meant to die

By: Amy Clancy

Updated:

MARYSVILLE, Wash. - For the first time, we’re learning what the lone survivor of the Marysville-Pilchuck High School shootings remembers about the day his friends and relatives died.
 
A witness statement left out of the original public disclosure documents released in early September was emailed to KIRO 7 by Snohomish County investigators on Wednesday.

Although the witness’s name is redacted, the police interview is with Nate Hatch and dated Jan. 28, 2015.  Charles Hatch Jr. is identified as the interview subject’s grandfather, and Denise Anderson is identified as his mother.

Hatch was the only victim to survive gunshot wounds inflicted by his second cousin, Jaylen Fryberg, on Oct. 24, 2014, inside the Marysville-area school cafeteria. 

The 15-year old Fryberg committed suicide after shooting Hatch, Andrew Fryberg, Zoe Galasso, Shaylee Chuckulnaskit and Gia Soriano at close range. 

All but Hatch died. All were sitting at the same table.

In the new police document, Hatch told investigators he looked up when he heard the first shot, then "fell and laid there until it was all over."

When asked by Washington State Patrol Detective Jeff Rhue why his own cousin would target him, Hatch responded, "Because I'm one of his best friends and he wanted me to go with him."

Hatch also told Rhue that all the victims but 14-year-old Gia Soriano had known each other for years. 

In his interview, Hatch said he didn’t believe Soriano was an intended target: "I just met her that year. She’s pretty cool, I don't think she was meant to get shot cause (sic) Jaylen didn't know her all that well."

Hatch confirmed to investigators that Fryberg had just started dating a new, unidentified girl but was upset over the loss of his former longtime girlfriend, whose name is also redacted. Hatch told the detective that his cousin had sexual contact with the new girl after the homecoming dance the weekend before the shootings, even though his ex-girlfriend had been his date to the dance. Hatch said Fryberg “regretted it and then he wanted (redacted) back and (redacted) wouldn't talk to him.”

Hatch also asked whether investigators had found a suicide note written by Fryberg, because he was "pretty sure there was a note." 

Hatch told Rhue he saw a picture of the note on Snapchat while recovering in the hospital, and that it said Fryberg "didn't want to live anymore and he wanted to take his ride or die's with him and that was me, Andrew and Zoey and Shay."

The Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office said no suicide note has ever been found.

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