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Teacher, Two Students Killed at Junior High School

February 3, 1996

MOSES LAKE, Wash. (AP) _ A 14-year-old boy with a high-powered rifle killed a teacher and two students and seriously injured another student inside their junior high school classroom Friday, police said.

The student was arrested shortly after he entered Frontier Junior High School at about 2 p.m., went to a classroom and began firing, police said.

``Numerous shots were fired and one teacher and three students were shot,″ Sgt. Dennis Duke said in a news release.

A 13-year-old girl who was shot in the abdomen was flown in serious condition to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle, about 150 miles to the west, said Tim Cooper, a spokesman at Samaritan Hospital in Moses Lake.

Killed were Leona D. Caires, 49, and students Arnold F. Fritz and Manuel Vela, both 14, Grant County Coroner Penny Sibley said.

When the shots rang out, the students fled through classroom windows and took refuge at a nearby church.

The school was evacuated and students were sent home early as parents streamed in to search for their children. Officials later canceled the weekend’s athletic contests and offered psychiatric counseling to students.

One classmate of the alleged shooter said he wasn’t the kind to make trouble.

``He was an honor student. He was not involved in gangs. He was not in drugs,″ the student told KHQ-TV in Spokane on condition of anonymity. ``He was a normal student among the rest of us.″