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12 weeks after father dies, tragedy strikes Strahan family again in Freeman shooting

UPDATED: Thu., Sept. 14, 2017, 12:45 p.m.

Freeman High School shooting victim Sam Strahan (left); hundreds gathered in the atrium of River Park Square for a candlelight vigil in support of the victims of the Freeman High School shooting that occurred Wednesday morning and claimed Strahan’s life and injured three others. (Colin Mulvany / The Spokesman-Review)
Freeman High School shooting victim Sam Strahan (left); hundreds gathered in the atrium of River Park Square for a candlelight vigil in support of the victims of the Freeman High School shooting that occurred Wednesday morning and claimed Strahan’s life and injured three others. (Colin Mulvany / The Spokesman-Review)

Sam Strahan died mere weeks after losing his father in a tragic accident on Father’s Day.

A sophomore at Freeman High School, Strahan was fatally shot after he confronted a fellow sophomore who’d come to school armed Wednesday morning.

Sam Strahan was a “true hero” and an “incredible soul,” who was close to his father, said Jennifer Guenther, a long-time friend of Strahan’s sister.

“Seeing him grow up to be such a positive and happy spirit to others around him was inspiring,” Guenther said. “Sam was a brother who loved and cared for his older sister and always watched out for his mother.”

A friend and classmate described Strahan as a fun-loving person who’d been deeply affected by the death of his father.

“He was really funny, and he likes to make lots of jokes,” Liam Marshall said. “He just lost his father this past summer. I thought he was a lot wiser (after his father died). He didn’t do stuff like he used to do. But, he was still funny.”

Special Coverage: Freeman High School shooting

One Freeman High School student is dead, three more are wounded and the shooting suspect — a classmate — is in custody. | Get the latest updates on the school shooting here. »

Another classmate, Bailey Coumont, a 15-year-old sophomore, remembered Strahan during a Wednesday night vigil at River Park Square.

“He was funny,” she said. “He was very blunt. He could get on my nerves sometimes, but it was kind of just Sam. He was just kind of the class clown.”

Sam’s father, Scott Strahan, died unexpectedly on June 18 when he was crushed beneath a motor home he was working on. Scott Strahan was 49, and he and his wife, Ami, had two children: Sam and Emily. Emily is a sophomore at the University of Washington, according to a fundraising account set up for the children after their father’s death.

In his father’s obituary, Sam was described as “a wonderful young man with his father’s unending patience and commitment.”

His parents met and married in California, where they started a family before moving to Spokane in 2004, when Sam was a young child, according to Scott Strahan’s obituary.