Home / National News / Hero First-Year Teacher Facing School Shooter Acted 'Instinctively'


(MARYSVILLE, Wash.) — A teacher in her first year on the job tried stopping a freshman homecoming prince who opened fire inside his Washington state high school, killing one person and injuring four others — including two of his relatives — before fatally shooting himself, a local teacher’s union official said.

Megan Silberberger, a first-year social studies teacher, was in the cafeteria when the student, identified by witnesses and law enforcement sources as Jaylen Fryberg, started shooting, Marysville Education Association president Randy Davis said.

“For anybody involved in that, they have to decide between fight or flight,” Davis told ABC News. “She picked to go towards it, instinctively that’s what she did.”

Silberberger was with family and was feeling some trauma, according to Davis.

“She, everybody, the community itself is just reeling,” he said.

Silberberger began teaching at Marysville-Pilchuck High School last year as a student year, and was promoted to a full-time teacher this year, Davis said.

“She was very upbeat, positive, and enthusiastic,” Davis recalled. “She was really happy to be here.

“I’m completely amazed by her actions and I feel for her,” Davis said. “I don’t know why she was in the cafeteria but I’m just grateful she was there.”

The Marysville School District posted a message from Silberberger on its website today, thanking people for their support and asking for privacy.

“While I am thankful and grateful for the support from everyone, at this time I am requesting privacy for myself and my family,” she wrote.

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The Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office said Saturday that it had finished its on-scene investigation of the shooting.

A .40 caliber handgun that investigators believe was the weapon used in the Friday shooting was recovered from the school, the Sheriff’s Office said.

Marysville police have said the gun used in the shooting was legally acquired, though have not said by whom.

A 911 caller reported the shooting at 10:39 a.m. Friday, Marysville Police Commander Robb Lamoureux said. School security officers arrived at the cafeteria two minutes later, then confirmed “the shooter was down.”

“They’re traumatized — there’s no doubt about it,” Lamoureux said of the students. “There’s a lot of healing that has to take place in this community.”

Marysville-Pilchuck High School will be closed all of next week.

Superintendent Becky Berg said, “We are indeed heartsick.”

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