EVERETT - It was the news doctors at Providence Regional Medical Center were hoping they wouldn’t have to report.
“Gia Soriano, age 14, passed away tonight as a result of her injuries suffered on Friday,” Dr. Joanne Roberts told reporters Sunday evening.
Soriano is the third person to die after Friday’s shooting at Marysville-Pilchuck High School. Student Zoe Galasso, 14, died from a gunshot wound to the head and the shooter, freshman Jaylen Fryberg, died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound, the medical examiner's office said.
Three other victims -- two boys and one girl -- are still in the hospital. Andrew Fryberg, 15, is in critical condition at Harborview Medical Center and remains in intensive care. Nate Hatch, 14, is in satisfactory condition at Harborview and awake and breathing on his own. Shaylee Chuckulnaskit, 14, is at Providence Regional Medical Center in Everett in critical condition with a head wound.
An update on their condition was expected sometime Monday. Hatch took to social media Sunday, saying though he was in pain he was willing to forgive the shooter.
Soriano's parents released a brief statement following her death, asking for privacy and space, as well as thanking the Providence Regional Medical Center for their hard work and compassion. They also remembered their loving daughter.
"We are devastated by this senseless tragedy," Soriano's parents said. "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 honors her life."
Questions remain as to why Jaylen Fryberg opened fire in the lunchroom at Marysville-Pilchuck High School around 10:30 a.m., officials said. But for now, an emphasis is put on healing and recovery.
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On Sunday, students who witnessed that tragedy returned to their school to comfort each other. Though healing is a long way away, students found comfort in the company of their peers.
“It was a really good environment to be in, to have the whole community together,” says MPHS sophomore Kylie Prouse. “People were hugging and crying, saying it’s going to be OK. It made us feel like we’re one big family.”
The school district has cancelled classes at MPHS this week, but they thought inviting students and parents back Sunday would be an important start to the healing process.
“This is a tough day,” said Superintendent Becky Berg. “And we’ve got a few more ahead of us. “
Investigators are still trying to figure out the motive behind the shooting, and whether there might have been any warning signs. While they work on that, community leaders reached out to students. Thy told them it’s their responsibility to make sure something like this never happens in this community again.
“If you need to talk to an adult or an adult needs to know something that’s going on in your life or in a friend’s life,” said Marysville Mayor Jon Nehring, “You’ve got your mom, dad, aunt, uncle.”
“If you have something you need to say or something that you recognize, bring it forth,” added Police Chief Rick Smith.
Tulalip tribe leaders also offered their songs and prayers. The shooter was a member of the tribe, but they don’t understand his actions.
“Our families are hurting really bad right now, looking for answers. Answers that might not exist for us,” said Tony Hatch. “We need to pull together and get through this.”
“It’s beautiful to see victims say we should put down any anger and just focus on the love we have for one another,” added Deborah Parker. “That’s what we’re going to do.”
Marysville police announced Sunday they plan to boost their presence in all area schools this week. An officer will be assigned to individual secondary schools, as well as random, drop-in visits at elementary schools. They plan an increased presence throughout the week, Marysville police said.