MARYSVILLE, Wash. — A detective investigating the high school shooting in Washington state that left five teens dead says in court papers that the young shooter’s texts turned dark the week before he opened fire, with references to his funeral and the message: “Bang bang I’m dead.”
Moments before Jaylen Fryberg, 15, shot his fellow students Oct. 24 in the Marysville-Pilchuck High School cafeteria, he texted more than a dozen relatives, describing what he wanted to wear at his funeral and who should get his personal possessions, the detective’s search warrant affidavit says.
The boy asked relatives to apologize to the families of his friends “who get caught up in the (expletive) tomorrow” — referring to the day after the shooting. He also sent texts in the previous days to a female friend talking about his death and funeral.
The popular teen fatally shot four friends he had invited to lunch and wounded a fifth teen before killing himself.
The victims are Gia Soriano, Zoe Galasso and Shaylee Chuckulnaskit, all 14, and Andrew Fryberg, 15. All were shot in the head. Nate Hatch, 14, was shot in the jaw and is recovering. Andrew Fryberg and Hatch are the shooter’s cousins.
Investigators have found no evidence to support a rumor that students had expressed concerns about Jaylen Fryberg to school authorities before the shooting, police spokeswoman Shari Ireton said Wednesday.
The Daily Herald of Everett obtained the Everett police detective’s affidavit, which provided details of the boy’s last text messages, but not their full contents. The detective had been seeking a judge’s permission to examine the boy’s cellphone. Multiple agencies are investigating the shooting and are sifting through hundreds of text messages and social media posts.
While the boy had publicly posted some angry messages on social media starting in late July, his posts otherwise were “pretty normal,” the detective wrote. The change began Oct. 18.
Detectives learned that he had been upset by something that happened between him and a 15-year-old identified in the affidavit only by her initials and described as a “close friend.”
Investigators know what happened between the two but decided against including specifics in the search warrant documents to protect her identity, court papers said.
On Oct. 18, Fryberg texted: “Ohk (sic) well don’t bother coming to my funeral.” The girl stopped responding and ignored other text messages. On Oct. 22, the boy texted: “I set the date. Hopefully you regret not talking to me,” ”You have no idea what I’m talking about. But you will” and “Bang bang I’m dead.” When the friend asked Fryberg to stop, he replied: “No. You don’t care. I don’t care.”
When she stopped responding, Fryberg tried to reach her through another friend. The morning of Oct. 24, Fryberg used Facebook to send that friend a picture of a gun sitting between his legs, court papers said. He told the friend to have the girl “call me before I do this.”
That message was sent minutes before the shooting started.
The detective met with two of Fryberg’s uncles the day of the shooting, the Daily Herald reported. One man said he and 13 other relatives received a text from the boy minutes before the gunfire. The message was titled: “My Funeral (expletive).”
Detectives later searched the boy’s room.
“My hope was that we could find a note or something that would help explain what happened,” the detective wrote. “Nothing of evidentiary value was located in Jaylen’s room.”