Washington school shooter's texts turned dark

Jaylen Fryberg in an image from social media


MARYSVILLE, Wash. - A detective investigating the Oct. 24 shooting that claimed the lives of five teens at a Marysville high school including the gunman says in court papers that the young shooter's texts turned dark during the week before the attack, with references to his funeral and the message "Bang bang I'm dead."

The detective's search warrant affidavit also says that moments before Jaylen Fryberg, 15, opened fire in the Marysville Pilchuck High School cafeteria, he texted more than a dozen relatives, describing what he wanted to wear at his funeral and who should get his personal possessions.

The boy also asked relatives to apologize to the families of his friends "who get caught up in the (expletive) tomorrow" - referring to the day after the shooting.

The popular teen mortally wounded four friends he had invited to have lunch with him and wounded a fifth teen before killing himself.

The dead included Gia Soriano, Zoe Galasso and Shaylee Chuckulnaskit, all 14, and Andrew Fryberg, 15. All were shot in the head. Nate Hatch, 14, was shot in the jaw and is recovering.

Investigators have found no evidence to support a rumor that students had expressed concerns about Jaylen to school authorities before the shootings, police spokeswoman Shari Ireton said Wednesday.

The Daily Herald of Everett obtained the Everett police detective's affidavit, which provided some details of the boy's last text messages but not their full contents. The detective was seeking a judge's permission to examine the boy's cellphone. A multiple agency team continues to investigate the shootings, sifting hundreds of text messages and social media posts.

While the boy had publicly posted some angry messages on social media starting in late July, his posts otherwise were "pretty normal," the detective wrote. The change began on Oct. 18.

Detectives learned that Jaylen had been upset by something that happened between him and a 15-year-old identified in the affidavit only by her initials and described as a "close friend."

Court papers say investigators know what happened between the two but decided against including specifics in the search warrant documents to protect her identity. On Oct. 18, Jaylen texted: "Ohk (sic) well don't bother coming to my funeral." The girl stopped responding and ignored other text messages. On Oct. 22, the boy texted: "I set the date. Hopefully you regret not talking to me," ''You have no idea what I'm talking about. But you will" and "Bang bang I'm dead." When the friend asked Jaylen to stop, he replied: "No. You don't care. I don't care."

When she stopped responding, Jaylen tried to reach her through another friend. Court papers say that on the morning of Oct. 24, Jaylen used Facebook to send that friend a picture of a gun sitting between his legs. He told the friend to have the other girl "call me before I do this."

That message was sent just minutes before the shooting started.

On the day of the shootings, the Everett police detective met with two of Jaylen's uncles, the Daily Herald reported. One man said he and 13 other relatives received a text from Jaylen minutes before the shootings. The message was titled: "My Funeral (expletive)."

Detectives later searched the boy's room, with his father's cooperation.

"My hope was that we could find a note or something that would help explain what happened," the detective wrote. "Nothing of evidentiary value was located in Jaylen's room."