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Parents of MPHS victims react after shooter’s father found guilty of illegal gun possession

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SEATTLE -- The father of the teen who shot five classmates and then himself at Marysville Pilchuck High School has been found guilty on weapons charges.

A federal jury convicted Raymond Fryberg on six counts of unlawfully possessing a firearm. Prosecutors say he had a restraining order against him, and should never have been able to purchase the gun his son used in the school shooting.

When 15-year-old Jaylen Fryberg shot five of his friends at Marysville Pilchuck High School last October, the victim’s families became forever linked. Today, they walked out of the federal courthouse together.

“We are here for our children, for justice for our children,” said Denise Hatch Anderson, the mother of shooting survivor, Nate Hatch. She was joined by the parents of Andrew Fryberg, Zoe Galasso, Gia Soriano and Shaylee Chuckulnaskit.

They had just watched a jury convict Jaylen’s father, Raymond Fryberg, on six federal weapons charges.

“It’s good,” she said. “It’s what we wanted.”

But Fryberg’s attorney says he doesn’t think his client got a fair trial.

“The whole thing was fueled by the understandably upset victims of the school shooting, which my client Ray Fryberg had nothing to do with,” said John Henry Browne.

Fryberg was charged with obtaining several weapons illegally. One of them was the Beretta handgun used in the school shooting. The prosecution did not mention that during the trial, but Browne believes it was still an issue.

“I think everyone with common sense would agree this case should not have been tried in Seattle. This case should have been tried in California somewhere, because all of the jurors knew about the Marysville Pilchuck shooting. They all knew about. The judge asked them to put it out of their heads. It's like putting 9-11 out of your heads, how do you do that?” he asked.

Fryberg could face up to ten years in prison, although Browne does not expect the judge to hand down the maximum sentence. Fryberg did not speak as he left court today, but Browne says he’s upset.

“He had nothing to do with the tragedy that happened at the school. He can't even think about it without crying. He's just sad about everything, been sad since October of last year.”

Raymond Fryberg is scheduled to be sentenced on January 11. His attorney says they will be filing an appeal.

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