ROCKFORD, Wash. - One student is dead and three others were injured in a shooting Wednesday at Freeman High School south of Spokane.
Shots were fired at about 10:15 a.m. Police said at an afternoon conference the gunman was a student of the school. The student killed in the shooting walked up to the gunman, police said, and engaged with him.
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Gunman was student at the school
The suspect, a student of Freeman High School, is in custody.
Police say the student went to school armed, entered the school and proceeded to take his weapons out. Michael Harper, who's 15, told The Associated Press that the suspect had long been obsessed with past school shootings.
He says he saw the student at school with a duffel bag.
Harper, a sophomore, said the suspect brought notes to school in the beginning of the year, saying he might get killed or jailed.
Harper says some students alerted counselors. The teen said the suspect wasn't bullied, calling him "nice and funny and weird."
KREM reports students who witnessed the shooting identified the gunman as Caleb Sharpe.
One student shot and killed, three injured
Three injured students were transported to Providence Sacred Heart Medical Center. Doctors said the teenage students were all stable.
One student was scheduled to have surgery Wednesday afternoon. Hospital staff declined to detail their injuries.
A student interviewed by KREM told reporters the school had a lockdown drill practice Tuesday. She also said she saw the gunman, who she recognized as a student.
"I heard three gunshots and I just started running," the student said.
The student killed in the shooting walked up to the gunman, police said, and engaged with him.
Cheryl Moser said her son, a freshman at Freeman High School, called her from a classroom after hearing shots fired.
"He called me and said, 'Mom, there are gunshots.' He sounded so scared. I've never heard him like that," Moser told The Spokesman-Review newspaper. "You never think about something happening like this at a small school."
There were about 40 law enforcement personnel and first responders at the shooting scene, KHQ said.
Students were evacuated from Freeman. Spokane County deputies went room to room at the school to ensure no students or threats remained inside, until the school was cleared.
Freeman students congregated at the football field, where they were interviewed and counted. Parents were reunited with their children in groups of 10 at a time.
Federal, state and local authorities will take part in the investigation. Officials said school would not be held Thursday.
Thoughts, prayers offered for Spokane County community
"I don't think anybody can make any sense out of this," Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich said of the shooting.
"I want to thank this community for standing together," Knezovich said. "And the courage they showed today."
A hospital official with Providence Sacred Heart Medical Center, where three students are currently undergoing treatment, commended an "outpouring of support from the community."
Members of the public are sharing their thoughts with the Spokane County community, using the hashtag '#FreemanStrong.'
A candlelight vigil was scheduled for Wednesday at 7 p.m., at River Park Square in Spokane.
Information from the Associated Press is included in this report.
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