UPDATES: Shooting At Freeman High School Near Spokane

Sep 13, 2017

One person is dead and three are in serious but stable condition after a shooting Wednesday, Sept. 13 at Freeman High School in Washington, about 10 miles south of Spokane on Highway 27.


Update: 5:20 p.m. 

Spokane County Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich wore two loops of powder blue and white ribbon – the colors of Freeman High School – pinned to this chest as he briefed reporters in front of the Spokane County courthouse. He says the 15-year-old suspected gunman got “sucked into a counter culture of violence.”

“The more social media stuff we dig into - this looks like this kid got enamored - by the school shooting culture,” Knezovich told reporters.

He says county officials intend to try the suspect – a high school sophomore – as an adult for premeditated murder. The student took the two weapons used in the shooting from his father’s gun safe. The suspect is detained at a juvenile detention center in Spokane. -

- Reporting by Emily Schwing, Northwest News Network

Update: 2:45 p.m. 

A school community meeting is scheduled for 7 p.m. tonight at Freeman High School. Superintendent Randy Russell posted a message on the Freeman School District Facebook page. Russell wrote:

"We will share as much information as possible, and we want you to be able to come together as a school community to ask any questions you might have as we plan to bring staff and students back to school. Counseling services will be available and we encourage any parent or student to work with these professionals to help in the healing process."

Update: 10 a.m. 

All classes are canceled today in the Freeman School District, though grief counselors are on hand to speak with anyone affected. A news conference is scheduled for noon today.


Update: 8:05 p.m. 

Officials say the student killed at Freeman High School was Sam Strahan, a sophomore. Northwest News Network correspondent Emily Schwing reports of Strahan: "Sam was a funny kid, who had his own teenage struggles, including the death of his father this year, on Father’s Day." Strahan's friend and fellow Freeman student Kelby Cochran recalls a fun anecdote of Strahan at school: 

“We were at lunch one time, and for lunch he had tomato soup and he didn’t grab a spoon, he grabbed a fork, and so he sat there and at the whole bowl of soup with a fork," Cochran recalls. "And then later that day I was scrolling on some kind of social media and I found a quote that said ‘life is a bowl of soup and I’m a fork’ and I sent it to him."

(For a longer remembrance of Strahan, see this story from Emily Schwing.)

Update: 3:30 p.m.

According to Spokane County Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich, the student killed in the shooting tried to stop the shooter from carrying out his attack. “He proceeded to take his weapons out,” Knezovich said. “At that point he attempted to fire one weapon, it jammed. He went to his next weapon, a student walked up to him, engaged him and that student was shot.” Knezovich said after killing the first student, the shooter opened fire on three more students. They all survived and are hospitalized in serious condition. The sheriff says a school staff member took “courageous” action to stop the shooter but did not go into details.

Update: 2:20 p.m.

A suspect is in custody in Spokane County juvenile jail, according to Spokane County Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich.  The sheriff says there were multiple weapons involved, one of which jammed, and the suspect was constrained by a member of the school staff. No police fired their weapons while apprehending the suspect.

Update: 1:45 p.m.

Doctors at Sacred Heart Medical Center in Spokane say three students are being treated and have been admitted to the hospital. They will be there at least overnight. Officials declined to give specific information about injuries, citing patient privacy and because they are under age 18. But doctors said the three teenage victims at the hospital are “doing well.”

Update: 12:38 p.m.

A news conference is expected around 1:30 p.m. at Sacred Heart Medical Center in Spokane for updates on those transported to the hospital.

Update: 12:05 p.m.

Authorities say one is dead and multiple injured after a shooting around 10 o’clock this morning at Freeman High School. The school is located about 10 miles south of Spokane on Highway 27. A suspect has been contained according to police, and there is no more threat to the school. News conferences will be held soon at the school and at Sacred Heart Medical Center in Spokane where several injured people are being treated. We will update this story throughout the day on air and at NWPR.org as information becomes available.

Update: 11:55 a.m.

Officials say one person was killed and at least three others were shot when a gunman opened fire at a high school in Washington state.

Brian Schaeffer of the Spokane Fire Department told reporters that one person died in the shooting Wednesday morning at Freeman High School in Rockford, about 10 miles south of Spokane on Highway 27.

The injured are being treated at Sacred Heart Medical Center in Spokane.

The Spokesman-Review reports Spokane County Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich said at the scene that the shooter was in custody.

Update: 11:35 a.m.

Fire officials in Washington state say people have been injured and taken to a hospital after a shooting at a high school.

Brian Schaeffer of the Spokane Fire Department says the threat "has been eliminated" at Freeman High School in Rockford, south of Spokane. He wouldn't release how many people were injured Wednesday or their conditions. He provided no more details.

Spokane Public Schools says on Twitter that the school is no longer lockdown.

No information was immediately available on who opened fire

Update: 11:15 a.m.

Multiple ambulances and a Lifeflight helicopter were dispatched to a high school south of Spokane, Washington, following reports of a shooting.

The shooting was reported at Freeman High School in Rockford on Wednesday. Annie Baxter, whose two daughters attend Freeman Middle School across the street from the high school, told The Spokesman-Review that children were running into buildings when she pulled up to the school area about 10:15 a.m.

She says classes were about to begin because it's a "late start" day.

All schools in the Spokane district were placed on lockdown as a precautionary measure.

Update: 11:03 a.m.

Authorities are responding to reports of a shooting at a high school south of Spokane, Washington.

The Spokesman-Review reports that first responders were at Freeman High School in Rockford on Wednesday morning.

Spokane Public Schools said on Twitter that all schools in the district are "being placed into modified lockdown as a precautionary measure."

No other information was immediately available.

Information compiled from Associated Press and news reports