Jaylen Ray Fryberg (July 31, 1999 – October 24, 2014) was an American high school student who committed the Marysville Pilchuk High School shooting on October 24, 2014. He killed 4 students (one of them being his cousin) and injured 3 others before committing suicide.
Fryberg was a wrestler and football player at the school. He was described as "generally happy", "a really nice kid", and "not a violent person". He was later said to have been experiencing difficulties in adjusting to the school environment, with his grades slipping and missing classes for several days.
Fryberg was of Native American descent and a member of the Tulalip tribe. He was close friends with his cousins Andrew Fryberg and Nate Hatch. One week prior to the shooting, Fryberg had been announced as the school's freshman homecoming prince at a football game. He used multiple social media accounts that frequently depicted him hunting and using rifles. The ownership of the Beretta handgun used in the shooting was traced to Fryberg's father.
Fryberg's last few Twitter posts were described as "emotional". Hours before the shooting, a fellow student had asked him if he was doing okay following a fight with another student who had been using racial slurs. Fryberg had been suspended from school and the football team following the fight.
A student claimed that Fryberg fought with a student over a girl, and another that one of Fryberg's victims was a girl who turned him down when he asked her out on a date. This girl, later identified as Zoë Raine Galasso, was reported to have been dating Fryberg's cousin Andrew at the time. Fryberg also had an ex-girlfriend at the time of the shooting, Shilene George, to whom he sent pictures of him with the handgun in the school cafeteria immediately prior to the shooting. She told authorities she was forced to end the relationship days prior to the shooting after Fryberg became violent with her.
Prior to the shooting, Fryberg invited several students, all of whom were friends, to meet him for lunch via text message. He urged some of them to skip classes they had at the time. Minutes prior to the shooting, he reportedly sent a group text message to his family and the families of his would-be victims. In it, he apologized for his actions and laid out plans for his funeral.
At lunchtime, the invited students sat together at one table. Fryberg then entered the school cafeteria and sat down at a different table. At 10:39 a.m., according to eyewitnesses, he stood up, approached the table where his friends were sitting, and had a verbal altercation with them. He then pulled out a .40-caliber Beretta Px4 Storm Subcompact handgun and fired at least eight shots, shooting several students in a "calm, methodical way".
During the shooting, Fryberg was described by a witness as having "a blank stare" and "staring at the victims as he shot them". He also appeared to be targeting only the table where his friends were sitting. At the time of the shooting, seven students were seated at that table.
Fryberg died at the scene from a self-inflicted gunshot wound. An early eyewitness report stated that an adult school staff member tried to intervene by grabbing Fryberg's arm, inadvertently causing him to fatally shoot himself in the neck. The employee was later identified as first-year social studies teacher Megan Silberberger, who tried to apprehend Fryberg as he may have been attempting to reload.
Police officials and the Snohomish County medical examiner later clarified that Fryberg committed suicide by shooting himself in the head and that Silberberger did not touch him in the moments preceding his death, though she did make an attempt to subdue him.
Shortly after Fryberg committed suicide, Silberberger contacted authorities. The motive for the shooting is unknown, although a student at the school stated that "[he] was angry at a girl who would not date him, and that the girl was one of the people shot", a claim that was supported by other classmates and by Fryberg's family members.