Los Angeles: Two teenage US girls were fighting for their lives today after they were both shot in the head by a schoolmate during a deadly attack at a Washington state high school a day earlier.
The girls, both 14, are among four victims who were hospitalised after yesterday's bloodshed that left one student and the young shooter dead in yet another US school attack.
Joanne Roberts, a doctor at Providence Regional Medical Center in the city of Everett, 30 miles (50 kilometers) north of Seattle, said both girls had undergone surgery for head wounds.
"The next three days are going to be crucial," Roberts said, explaining the surgery aimed to relieve brain swelling.
The shooting unfolded yesterday morning when 14-year-old Jaylen Fryberg, a popular first-year student at the Marysville-Pilchuck High School, opened fire in the school cafeteria, classmates and officials said.
"I could see Jaylen standing up with a gun, and he started shooting," fellow student Josiah Gould, 14, told the Seattle Times.
"They were sitting down and he was behind them shooting. After that I just ran."
The gunman shot four students before killing himself, police said. The student that died was a girl, though authorities did not immediately release her name.
The wounded also included a male student, shot in the head and in critical condition, and a 15-year-old boy, in serious condition after he was shot in the jaw. Both boys were being treated at Harborview Medical Center.
A student identified as Austin told KING 5 television how the shooter was initially quiet before opening fire.
"He was just sitting there. Everyone was talking. All of a sudden I see him stand up, pull something out of his pocket," he said.
"At first I thought it was just someone making a really loud noise with like a bag, like a pretty loud pop until I heard four more after that, and I saw three kids just fall from the table like they were falling to the ground dead."