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KITTITAS, Wash. --Investigators said a 17-year-old student left school and shot himself in a barn before returning to school later that morning. Two Kittitas school were put on a precautionary lockdown as authorities investigated. Word raced through the small community only to have people learn the teenager shot himself.
Concerned parents rushed to pick up their children from both Kittitas Secondary School and Kittitas Elementary after hearing a shooter may be on the loose.
"Too many thoughts all at once-too many you can even really make sense of it. You just.... I started shaking. I felt like I was going to pass out," said worried parent Alyssa Qutishat.
A high school senior showed up to class with a gunshot wound in his chest. Classmates of the victim say he just walked in and sat down in his chair. They didn't realize anything was wrong until they noticed a sweater wrapped around his shoulder and that it was drenched in his own blood.
Kittitas Secondary School junior Jesse Beruman said, "I was shocked cause the kid's been though so much in the past probably month. Like I said with everything going on, I just pray to God he's okay. I was really scared for him cause no matter where he got shot, it's still a shot, it's still a wound."
At first, the 17-year old told law enforcement he'd been shot by a stranger while in a housing development near his school. The idea of a gunman at large was almost too much.
"Huge panic all you hear is just student running in the hall ways trying to get to classrooms," he said.
Parents reacted no differently.
"My first instinct was oh my gosh is it one of my children? And it’s scary, very scary. You send your kid to school and you don't know if they're going to come home. Its Kittitas stuff like this never happens," said parent Angela Quesinberry.
"We can't have him running around and then our kids running around playing and then another person get shot," said parent Christina Magruder
The boy was quickly flown to a Seattle hospital. Deputies later determined the teen had left school, shot himself in a nearby barn and came back to class.
The community may rest easier knowing there's no random gunman, and now focus their concern on this boy and his cry for help.
Conferences at the schools were canceled for the day, but after-school activities continued as scheduled. School will be in regular session in Kittitas tomorrow. The boy is listed in satisfactory condition.