Some students who heard the gunshots or saw the victim crumple to the floor didn't believe what was happening was real. The screaming teachers and streaks of blood on the lockers quickly convinced them it was.

The Tacoma, Wash., shooting, which happened just before the first period bell rang on the day classes resumed after the holiday break on Jan. 3, sent students scrambling as 17-year-old Samnang Kok lay dying in a hallway. The shooter bolted out a set of double doors.

About two hours later, police arrested fellow...

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