Survivor of Marysville-Pilchuck High School shooting draws parallel with Uvalde

May 27, 2022, 6:21 AM | Updated: 9:17 am

(KIRO Newsradio)...

(KIRO Newsradio)

(KIRO Newsradio)

Cale Lien, a survivor of the Marysville-Pilchuck High School mass shooting in Washington when he was a freshman, spoke out about the need for change in the wake of the mass shooting in Uvalde, Texas.

“I’ve seen my classmates [get] shot. And the fact that it’s been eight years since then, let alone before our incident in Marysville, you had Sandy Hook. It’s just nothing has really been done,” Lien said on the Gee and Ursula Show on KIRO Newsradio. “And children’s lives are being lost because of that. And I’m not saying there’s one solution. I’m just saying that there needs to be a coming together. And there just needs to be change.”

Texas elementary shooting prompts tough conversations with children about school-violence

On October 24, 2014, five teenagers were fatally shot at Marysville-Pilchuck High School by a friend as they ate lunch in the cafeteria. The shooter, age 15, turned the gun on himself.

“I was in the cafeteria, probably about 25-30 feet in front of the shooter. And I was in line to get some food. And so I heard the first gunshot. And then there was a pause,” Lien said. “And at that moment, I really didn’t think anything of it, you know, I thought it was someone blowing up a paper bag and popping it. And then the remaining shots started coming.”

“So I turned, and I see him firing around his table. And from there, I ran to my right from where I was in line out of the building, and then into one of the neighboring developments,” Lien continued. “I went in, I jumped into a lady’s backyard, and then into her front yard, where she was able to bring me and a couple of my friends in and call the police.”

Lien is currently pursuing a degree in education at Western Washington University, a decision that came from the fatal shooting.

“So my decision to become an educator was based on my experiences following my traumatic experiences,” Lien said. When I lost my mom to cancer when I was seven, I had a great relationship with my physical education teacher. And then following the shooting, I had the same exact experience, again with the same PE teacher, where she’s always brought me in, welcomed me, and she became my role model. After the shooting, she gave me the opportunity to help out and volunteer in her gym. And from there, I decided I wanted to give back what I had received.”

Listen to Gee Scott and Ursula Reutin weekday mornings from 9 a.m. – 12 p.m. on KIRO Newsradio, 97.3 FM. Subscribe to the podcast here.

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Survivor of Marysville-Pilchuck High School shooting draws parallel with Uvalde