High school gunman kills a student who was trying to protect others, police say

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The second-floor hallway of Freeman High School near Spokane, Washington, was at once a scene of chilling violence and pure bravery Wednesday morning.

There, at around 10 a.m., one student brandished the guns he had stashed in a duffel bag, determined to begin his rampage.

Another student, identified by local media as Sam Strahan, tried to stop him. “That type of courage,” Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich said, cost Strahan his life.

“That’s how he’ll be remembered. He gave everything to protect those who are in harm’s way,” Knezovich told The Washington Post.

The high school of more than 300 students, southeast of Spokane, became a crime scene as the shooter opened fire, killing Strahan and wounding three other students. Then, officials said, a school custodian approached the shooter and “ordered him to surrender.” The custodian was able to subdue the shooter until an officer arrived and took him into custody.

While police have not disclosed Strahan’s name, pending its release by the county medical examiner’s office, friends and witnesses have identified him in local news stories and participated in a vigil at a local mall. As shock turned to grief in the hours after the country’s latest school shooting, they told of a sincere young man with a penchant for joking around, even after burying his own father, who died in an accident – on Father’s Day.

“He was a quiet kid, not loud or boisterous,” a…

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