Community Mourns Second Shooting Victim; Won’t ‘Make This About Race’

Facebook Gia Soriano, a victim of the shooting at Marysville Pilchuck High School, died on Sunday night.

Community Mourns Second Shooting Victim; Won’t ‘Make This About Race’

Gia Soriano, one of five students shot in the head by a classmate at a high school near the Tulalip reservation, died late October 26.

Providence Regional Medical Center in Everett made the announcement at 9:45 p.m., as people from the Tulalip and Marysville communities attended vigils at the Tulalip gym and at Marysville Pilchuck High School.

Also dead are Zoe Galasso, 14, who died after the shooting on October 24 in the school cafeteria; and Jaylen Ray Fryberg, 14, who fatally shot himself at the scene after shooting five classmates.

“We regret that Gia Soriano, age 14 years, passed away tonight as a result of her injuries,” Providence Regional announced. “Despite the tremendous efforts of our caregivers, unfortunately the trauma injuries were extensive … This is a senseless tragedy. Our hearts and prayers go out to the Soriano family.”

The teen’s family released a brief statement through the hospital: “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.”

The family thanked Providence for its “excellent care – bar none – from beginning to end,” and asked that the family’s privacy be respected as they grieve.

Still fighting to recover at Providence Medical Center Everett is Shaylee Chuckulnaskit, 14; and at Harborview Medical Center in Seattle, Jaylen’s cousins, Andrew Fryberg, 15, and Nate Hatch, 14. According to the hospitals, Shaylee and Andrew are listed in critical condition, Nate’s condition has been upgraded to satisfactory; he is being treated for a bullet wound to the jaw, UW Medicine reported on Twitter Monday morning. He is “awake and breathing on his own. Andrew Fryberg, 15, remains critical in ICU.”

All six students are citizens of the Tulalip Tribes.

On his own Twitter account, Hatch tweeted from his hospital bed a message of forgiveness and love: “I love you, and I forgive you Jaylen rest in peace.”

Hatch’s mother, Denise Hatch-Anderson, wrote on Facebook that there is “No time for hate just love,” according to DailyMail.co.uk. She thanked the community “for the outpouring [of] love” that she and her family has received since the shooting. “I love everyone,” she wrote.

Providence Regional Medical Center in Everett announced its staff members would observe a moment of silence at 10:39 a.m. on October 27 “so we can take time to reflect, as well as collectively offer our thoughts and prayers to those who are grieving.”

The shooting occurred Friday, October 24, at 10:39 a.m.

Motive undetermined

Investigators reportedly interviewed more than 100 students and others in an effort to piece together why Jaylen Ray Fryberg, 14, a culturally involved Tulalip teen who was recently crowned Homecoming prince by his fellow high school freshmen, shot five students with a .40 caliber handgun and then killed himself in the school cafeteria.

Photos of Jaylen seemed to bear out the common descriptions of him: athletic, outgoing, active in his culture, always smiling. But those images don’t jibe with messages he is believed to have posted on his Twitter account, which depict a young teenager in the midst of personal crises.

In an October 25 article for the Daily Herald in Everett, Andrew Gobin, Tulalip, a writer for the newspaper, described the Jaylen he knew as a member of a politically and culturally influential Tulalip family, “grounded in the traditions of the Snohomish people.”

Jaylen grew up in the Shaker faith, earned his dance shirt and feather headdress, fished for salmon with his father and grandfather, Gobin wrote.

At school, Jaylen “pulled down good grades and was on the football team.”

Gobin writes that Jaylen and his long-time girlfriend had separated, and he got into a fight that got him suspended from the football team, which kept him from playing in the championship game — events that Gobin characterized as common teenage experiences. “Normal freshman angst,” he wrote.

Meanwhile, the community is struggling to understand why the tragedy happened. “We know Jaylen became troubled. Why is not clear,” Gobin wrote. “We are left with questions that may never be answered.”

Community is ‘not going to make this about race’

Deborah Parker, a member of the Tulalip Tribes council and parent of a student at Marysville Pilchuck High School, said the Native and non-Native communities are standing united in grief and healing – and standing against any efforts to inject race and other issues into the tragedy.

She said community members have denounced social media comments that have had a racial or political tinge. “I am very proud of our community,” Parker said. “They’ve said they are not going to make this about race, they are not going to make this about gun control, they are going to love and support those who are victims in this tragedy.”

She said the Native and non-Native communities have stood together at vigils at the high school and at the Tulalip gym.

Potlatch Fund gala will honor those lost

The annual Potlatch Fund gala, scheduled for November 1 at the Tulalip Resort Casino, will honor those who were lost in the October 24 school shooting, according to Potlatch Fund executive director Dana Arviso, Dine’.

The Potlatch Fund raises money for community building, arts, language preservation and education, and the Canoe Journey.

\This story has been updated to reflect Nate Hatch and Andrew Fryberg’s current medical conditions.*

Correction: According to a Tulalip Tribes council member, Jaylen, Andrew and Nate are Tulalip; Shaylee is Snoqualmie/Colville and lives in Tulalip; Gia and Zoe are not enrolled at Tulalip.

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