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Marysville Student, Stepmom Recall Chaos Of School Shooting

A student opened fire in a high school cafeteria north of Seattle Friday morning. One female classmate is dead and four other students are seriously injured.

Police in Marysville, Washington, said the shooter turned the gun on himself and is also dead.

Freshman Tanner Ratynski was walking toward the main cafeteria at Marysville-Pilchuck High School when the gunfire erupted.

“I just saw a bunch of kids running at me. I saw one towards the end that I recognized so I asked him what was happening. All he said was ‘Someone got shot. Just run!’” Ratynski said. “So I ran. I heard the fire alarm. We did the fire drill and ran to the field and then teachers told us, ’Lockdown, go to the nearest classroom.’”

Ratynski and his stepmother Angela Byrnes were reunited at a church near the high school.

“Thankfully, he called me from a teacher’s cell phone as soon as he got there and told me he was safe, so before I even heard the report I knew he was safe.“ Byrnes said. “That was a huge relief because I probably would have had a meltdown at work.”

Ratynski said he’s worried whether all of his friends are okay.

Marysville-Pilchuck High School has a total enrollment of around 2,500 students.

Now semi-retired, Tom Banse covered national news, business, science, public policy, Olympic sports and human interest stories from across the Northwest. He reported from well known and out–of–the–way places in the region where important, amusing, touching, or outrageous events unfolded. Tom's stories can be found online and were heard on-air during "Morning Edition" and "All Things Considered" on NPR stations in Washington, Oregon, and Idaho.