ROCKFORD, Wash. - The hectic scene at Freeman High School on Wednesday morning carried late into the evening and overnight as emergency responders and investigators continue looking into why one Freeman student opened gunfire, killing a student and injuring three others.
Sophomore student Sam Strahan was killed when he stepped in and tried to stop the gunman, according to Spokane county Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich. A small memorial for Strahan has popped up under the Freeman High School sign along Washington State Route 27. Students have already surrounded the memorial with flowers and signs, grieving for their classmate that died and praying for the three others that were injured.
Superintendent Randy Russell has cancelled Thursday classes for the entire Freeman School District.
Russell says there will be counseling services available for students and staff members as they work on gathering the broken pieces of the school community and begin the healing process.
Kevin Parker - a former Washington House of Representatives member who lived through the 1999 Columbine High School massacre - says that process is critical.
"For parents it is one where they want to grab their kids tonight and the reality is their kids are going to want to be with each other," said Parker. "A lot of their kids feel lucky, a lot of their kids feel guilty it wasn't them. And a lot of the kids will begin to migrate towards their friends who were in the same part of the school they were, and that's probably already happening."
Investigators say they'll be looking through all the evidence of the shooting, and that includes any video from students or staff who are willing to turn that footage over.
The process is expecetd to take several days.