Regional Public Journalism
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations
Dispatches from public radio's correspondent at the Washington Legislature. Austin Jenkins is the Olympia correspondent for the Northwest News Network. You can also see Austin on television as host of TVW's (the C–SPAN of Washington State) weekly public affairs program "Inside Olympia."

On Anniversary Of School Shooting, Victim's Sister Has Plea For Lawmakers

Nyla Fritz
Arnold Fritz was 14 when he was killed in a 1996 school shooting in Moses Lake, Washington. His sister will testify in Olympia on the 21st anniversary of the shooting in favor of making unsafe gun storage a crime.

Thursday is the 21st anniversary of a deadly school shooting at Frontier Junior High in Moses Lake, Washington. To mark the anniversary, the sister of one of the victims plans to ask state lawmakers to make it crime to not safely store guns.

On February 2, 1996,14-year-old Barry Loukaitis opened fire, killing two fellow students and an Algebra teacher.

Nyla Fritz’s little brother Arnold was one of the victims that day.

“My life is kind of two segments, the life before my brother died and my life since,” she said.

Loukaitis had come to school armed with a .30-30 rifle and two pistols he brought from home. Today, Loukaitis is in prison.

Fritz is a middle school principal near Seattle. On this 21st anniversary of her brother’s death, she will testify in Olympia in favor of making it a felony to not secure a gun that is then used by a child, or someone else who’s not supposed to have gun, to injure or kill someone.

“I can think of no greater honor to my brother’s life than to possibly be doing something on this day to save lives,” Fritz said.

The National Rifle Association calls the gun storage measure vague and says locking up guns can render them useless in a self-defense situation.

Since January 2004, Austin Jenkins has been the Olympia-based political reporter for the Northwest News Network. In that position, Austin covers Northwest politics and public policy, as well as the Washington State Legislature. You can also see Austin on television as host of TVW's (the C–SPAN of Washington State) Emmy-nominated public affairs program "Inside Olympia."