Gia Soriano, 14 passed away late last night. She was the second victim to succumb to gunshot wounds sustained this past Friday when classmate Jaylen Fryberg shot a group of his close friends during lunch at Marysville-Pilchuck High School in Washington State, before committing suicide. As with all senseless tragedies, people seek answers to try and understand what happened and why. As details emerge, Fryberg's actions may have been the result of a teenage love triangle, as if parents of now and future teens don't have enough to worry about.
Fryberg was a popular freshman. On Friday he entered the school cafeteria during lunch and used his father's gun to open fire on a table full of his close friends. Andrew Fryberg, Nate Hatch, Shaylee Chuckulnaskit, Gia Soriano and Zoe Galasso were all wounded before Jaylen Fryberg turned the gun on himself. Both Glasso and Jaylen Fryberg died on scene. Andrew Fryberg, Nate Hatch and Shaylee Chuckulnaskit remain in the hospital.
According to the Daily Mail, Jaylen Fryberg and Andrew Fryberg were cousins and close friends. Jaylen had a crush on Zoe Galasso and was extremely upset when she started dating his cousin Andrew.
Jaylen Fryberg's Twitter account supports this theory, as a stream of tweets from September until last week hint that the teen was upset by something:
While his tweets indicate he was dealing with some romantic angst, I don't know that if I were his parent, I would have seen these tweets as red flags. What teen isn't melodramatic at times, especially when it comes to their love life? So many teens live their lives in social media and if parents reacted to each and every Facebook status or tweet that indicated something was amiss in their child's life, we would all need to quit our jobs and be stay at home parents because it would be a full-time job.
Nothing in Jaylen's words say to me, "This kid is really close to taking his father's gun to school and killing his crush and a friend before shooting his cousin and some more friends and then taking his own life." The entire group of friends attended a school dance together just a few days before the shooting. As a parent I try to rationalize tragic stories, tell myself that this won't happen to my own family. But the deaths of Gia Soriano and Zoe Galasso and the suicide of Jaylen Fryberg make me feel like it really can happen to anyone and anywhere. I wish I could say that I would have seen this coming, I want to blame the parents for not stopping their son. But I really don't know that anyone could have forseen this. My heart goes out to the victim's families, as well as to the parents of Jaylen Fryberg.