Wash. teacher calls for ‘help’ in frightening 911 call

Martha Bellisle
Associated Press

Seattle — The teacher described by witnesses as a hero for trying to intervene when a student opened fire inside his Washington state high school described a horrifying scene during a 911 call: “Blood is everywhere. I need help. I need help now.”

Four teenagers died from injuries sustained in the shooting on Oct. 24, and the attacker, Jaylen Fryberg, killed himself. One student who was seriously hurt was released from the hospital last week.

In a strong and determined voice, teacher Megan Silberberger told a 911 dispatch operator that she was standing with the student who had just opened fire inside the cafeteria at Marysville-Pilchuck High School.

“I have the shooter. One shooter,” she said.

On Wednesday, authorities released the 911 calls from students, parents, neighbors, school workers and Silberberger, a first-year social studies teacher. The series of calls revealed the trauma of the situation but also the teacher’s attempts to save lives when Fryberg, a popular freshman student, opened fire at a group of friends.

Silberberger described the scene.

“I have him down,” she said. “I’m looking at him. I need help. Shooter’s right here.”

She described his clothes, but did not know anything else about him.

“He is a high school student,” she said. “I do not know his name. I tried to stop him before he shot himself. He shot himself. I don’t know how many are down. I tried to stop him.”

Students who fled the scene also reported the shooting to 911, describing how they dropped to the ground or bolted from the building.

“I just ran out of the school,” one student told the operator.

A woman who lives next to the school, about 30 miles north of Seattle, called to report that a group of students had climbed over her fence and were hiding at her house. She told the operator that several of the students had witnessed the shooting and asked how long they should stay inside. The operator advised her to hold tight until the police could arrive to interview them.

Parents who received calls or texts from their children were frantic for information. One father said his son just sent a text reporting shots fired. The operator confirmed that they knew about it but could not provide any additional information.

“Well, we’re going down there,” the father said before hanging up.

A crying mother called to report a text from her daughter, but when the operator tried to comfort her by saying police were on the way, it didn’t help.

“My daughter is not following lock-down directions and she and other kids have run from their classroom,” the woman said. “She’s away from her classroom right now. What advice can I give her?”

A food-service worker named Anne Haughian told the operator that she had just guided students out the cafeteria’s side door. She said she saw a boy come in before the shots rang out, but did not see what happened next, adding “it happened so fast.” Instead, she said she rushed the students out of the room to safety.

But one student was not with her. Her daughter.

“You’re outside right?” the operator asked.

“Yes,” Haughian said. “I’m trying to locate my daughter.”