TULALIP -- A 14-year-old girl passed away Oct. 31 at Providence Regional Medical Center in Everett, one week after she and four other students were shot by a classmate in the cafeteria at Marysville Pilchuck High School.
Shaylee Chuckulnaskit, Snoqualmie/Colville, passed at 4:45 p.m., Providence Regional announced. “The entire Providence family is deeply saddened by this news and we extend our heartfelt sympathy to Shaylee’s family,” the hospital announced.
Shaylee is the third victim to die from injuries sustained in the shooting on Oct. 24. Two other students are being treated at Harborview Medical Center in Seattle: Andrew Fryberg, a 15-year-old Tulalip boy, is in critical condition, Harborview reported Oct. 31. Nate Hatch, a 14-year-old Tulalip boy, is in satisfactory condition.
The Chuckulnaskit family released this statement through the hospital:
“Our hearts are broken at the passing of our beautiful daughter. Shay means everything to us. In Shay’s short life she has been a radiant light bringing us incredible joy and happiness. She has been a loving daughter, a caring sister, a devoted friend and a wonderful part of our community. We can’t imagine life without her.
“We have been overwhelmed by the thoughtfulness and support of our family, friends and community. We are deeply grateful for all the acts of kindness that have come our way. We especially want to thank the medics and Providence staff who have cared for Shay.
“We request that everyone please provide us the privacy we need so we can grieve our loss. Thank you.”
The news of Shaylee’s passing followed a week of vigils for the victims and their families, as the Tulalip and Marysville communities struggle to understand how the tragedy could have happened. The five students were shot by a friend, Jaylen Ray Fryberg, 15, who most people remember as an athletic, outgoing, popular, culturally involved Tulalip teenager; just days before the shootings, the freshman class elected him homecoming prince. However, postings reportedly made by him on his Twitter account in the weeks leading up to the shootings indicate he was deeply troubled by personal crises, including a falling out with one of the victims, a cousin.
The Tulalip Tribes released this statement expressing their condolences: “The Tulalip Tribes continue to offer up our condolences and prayers for the passing of Zoe Galasso and Gia Soriano; our hearts are heavy as we hear of the passing of Shaylee Chuckulnaskit. Shaylee and her family are part of our extended Tulalip community and we offer up our prayers. The families will continue to be in our thoughts as they grieve. With the loss of these three young lives there are no words that can truly express our compassion and condolences and the loss we feel.”
The Snohomish County Sheriff’s Department announced Oct. 27 that Jaylen Fryberg had texted the friends and arranged to meet them for lunch before the shootings. The sheriff did not disclose the content of the message or messages. The sheriff reported that the five victims were seated at a table when Fryberg shot them with a .40 caliber handgun, then turned the gun on himself.
Jaylen Fryberg and Zoe Galasso, 14, died at the scene. Gia Soriano, 14, passed away on Oct. 26 at Providence Regional.
Jaylen Fryberg’s funeral was on Oct. 30. A celebration of Zoe’s life is scheduled on Nov. 1 at Word of Life Lutheran Brethren Church in Marysville, according to her obituary. A memorial service for Gia will be scheduled at a later date, according to a mortuary.
During the week, leaders of the Tulalip Tribes and the City of Marysville issued a joint statement calling for compassion and patience in their communities, and reconfirmed their commitment to “continue their strong government-to-government relationship during the healing process.”
“The willingness between our mutual governments to reach out in times of crisis, share law enforcement resources, and communicate and collaborate effectively are just a few among many examples of what provides the strong partnership that the City and Tribes have in place,” Marysville Mayor Jon Nehring said in the statement. “When one tragedy impacts the Marysville and Tulalip communities and the people who call this area home, we all suffer, and we stand together in times of crisis. We live, work and play together, and as time goes by we will heal together.”
Tulalip Tribes Chairman Herman Williams Sr. said, “As we grieve in the wake of this tragedy, the Tulalip Tribes and the City of Marysville stand together, united in sorrow but determined to bring healing to our communities. The strong working relationship we have built over many years has proven critical as we continue to respond to this unimaginable event. Our priority is now on our children and young people.”
On Oct. 30, the Tulalip Tribes explained its custom of coming together in times of grief, of holding up people who are struggling through times of loss – including Jaylen's family. “We are supporting the family of Jaylen Fryberg in their time of loss, but that does not mean we condone his actions,” the Tulalip government stated in a message posted on its website.
“As we grieve our losses and pray for the recovery of the injured, the Tulalip Tribes continue to work with our neighbors in the Marysville community in continued unity.
“The tragic event at Marysville Pilchuck is a test of the unity and partnership between the Tulalip and Marysville communities, which is essential especially for the education of our children. Schools in the Marysville School District have received threats. While some have been directed at Native children, we are concerned for the safety of all of the children. Many of our kids are fearful to return to school, and some parents are reluctant to send them.
“The Tulalip Tribes denounce the horrific actions of Jaylen Fryberg … All of the young people he attacked were his friends, and two were his cousins. Parents and children alike are struggling to understand what caused him to act in such a manner. Even though we may never know why, there can be no justification for taking the lives of others. These were the acts of an individual, not a family, not a Tribe.
“As our communities continue to come together to deal with this tragic event, our thoughts and prayers continue to go out to the families of [the victims].”
On Oct. 31, the Tulalip Tribes announced it has set up a special fund to assist the victims and their families. Donations can be mailed to the Tulalip Foundation, Attn: MPHS Relief Fund, 8825 34th Ave. NE L-242, Tulalip, WA 98271. Donations can also be made online at The Tulalip Foundation website under the Make an Online donation section. A steering committee will be established to disperse funds to the victims and their families, according to a statement on the Tulalip Tribes website.