Annie Baxter, whose two daughters attend a 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 at about 10:15 a.m. Classes were about to begin because it's a late-start day, Baxter said.
Rockford, Washington, a community four miles from the Idaho border that hasn't seen a shooting in recent memory, was the scene of bloodshed and bravery on Wednesday, as a troubled high school sophomore opened fire on his four of his classmates, killing one of them.
The shooter, named in the media as Caleb Sharpe, wasn't just one of Sam's pals - according to witnesses, he was his best friend.
According to the timeline developed by police, Sharpe then took out the pistol and was confronted by classmate Sam Strahan.
Three other students were shot and are in stable condition at Providence Sacred Heart Medical Center.
Sharpe, who had reportedly written a suicide note a week earlier, brought an AR-15 rifle to school in a black duffle bag. Authorities have not release any names yet. We also would like to send our thoughts and prayers for a quick recovery of the injured students, as well as peace and healing for all affected by this tragedy. The identity of the suspect has not been released. Knezovich said the intention is to try Sharpe as an adult. He attempted to fire one of them and it jammed, which is when Strahan walked up to him, according to KREM.
Harper said the shooter had many friends, calling him "nice and amusing and weird" and a huge fan of the TV show "Breaking Bad".
Three female students were also wounded in the shootings.
Luis Prito, an assistant football coach at Freeman High, called the shooting devastating.
On Saturday, Taylor Stanley plans to make the trip to Eastern Washington, to hand deliver it to her friends at Freeman High School. The newspaper quoted Michael Harper, who described himself as a close friend of the suspect, saying the suspect had recently become obsessed with school shooting documentaries.
State Superintendent Chris Reykdal says he has contacted the district and is offering any help. He used the handgun to shoot Strahan after the student remarked "I always knew you were going to shoot up the school".
"We wish to express our overwhelming gratitude for the outpouring of support and love you have shown our families in our time of need", the families said.
Senator Patty Murray tweeted, "Heartbreaking headlines out of Spokane county".
"But we need to figure out what's gone wrong with our society that our children decide that they need to take weapons to deal with the issues that they're facing", he said. Central Valley schools were also in a modified lockdown as a result of the incident.