Student Killed in Washington School Shooting Tried to Confront Shooter and Other ‘Courageous Action’ May Have Stopped Suspect, Sheriff Says

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The student killed in a shooting Wednesday inside Freeman High School near Spokane, Washington had tried to confront the shooter, Spokane County Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich has said, according to local reports.

The suspect was detained, the Spokane County Sheriff’s Office tweeted.

Three other juveniles were in stable condition at a hospital.

Knezovich said the student who was killed had tried to confront the shooter after his gun jammed, Spokane news station KREM reported.

“Today that student came to school, armed. He entered the school and proceeded to take his weapons out. He attempted to fire one weapon and it jammed,” Knezovich said, according to KREM. “He went to his next weapon and a student walked up to him, engaged him and that student was shot.”

Witnesses told The Spokesman-Review that a school custodian had also stepped up to the shooter, tackling him when he tried firing again after his gun jammed.

Knezovich said “the individual was already disabled” when law enforcement arrived and they were able to arrest the shooter without any shots fired, while he also suggested a school employee may have stopped the shooter, The Spokesman-Review reported.

“We still have conflicting stories on what happened next, but it sounds like some very courageous action on behalf of a Freeman School District employee stopped this active shooter situation,” Knezovich said.

For now, the investigation is ongoing and law enforcement officials have not released the identities of the victims or shooter.

“As Spokane County officials continue their investigation to get the answers to the questions so many of us have during these unthinkable tragedies, the Washington State Patrol and all state agencies will do whatever we can to help provide support and comfort in the days and weeks to come,” Washington Gov. Jay Inslee said in a statement.

He called the shooting “heartbreaking” and said all residents of the state are thinking of the victims.

The suspect brought multiple weapons to the campus and the shooting took place in a second-floor hallway, said Spokane County Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich. One of the suspect’s weapons jammed during the incident, Knezovich said.

The school, which is between Spokane and Rockford, has 327 students, according to media reports.


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