(CNN) -- One week ago, Jaylen Fryberg stood tall as part of his high school's homecoming court, spurring his fellow students to cheer.
On Friday, he brought them to tears.
There's a jarring disparity between the celebratory scene on the sidelines of Marysville-Pilchuck High School's football field and the horrific, later one inside the Washington state school's cafeteria. Fryberg was center of attention both times: first as one of his school's most popular students, then as a student who eyewitnesses said shot his peers, killing one of them, before turning his gun on himself.
As classmate Jordan Luton, among others, said: "Nobody would have expected it from him."
2 dead, including gunman, in school shooting
For some, high school can be a hard place to be widely embraced. But not for Fryberg, according to students there.
The scene at halftime of Marysville-Pilchuck High School's October 17 football game with Arlington High School is testament.
There stood Fryberg, looking dapper in a tie, vest and sneakers, with his long hair tied up tightly. A schoolmate noted Fryberg played football and planned to try out soon for wrestling; then people in the stands applauded him, with enthusiastic whistles and yells of admiration thrown in for good measure.
The occasion was Fryberg being named the freshmen's "Homecoming Prince," joining others in Marysville-Pilchuck High School's royal court. Friend and fellow student Nate Heckendorf explained that this honor means "a lot of people had good hopes for him and thought the best of him."
"That (title) means ... teachers like you. Your peers like you," said Rachel Heichel, another freshman. "You're a person that everyone likes and a good person."
All those applied to Fryberg, according to Heichel.
"He was a people person," she said. "... He was just a really nice kid and all-around good person."
An avid outdoorsman
Fryberg was more than a beloved student or talented athlete.
He was a proud Native American. According to his social media accounts, he belonged to the Tulalip tribe, which runs a resort casino in Marysville, a city of 60,000 located 30 miles north of Seattle.
A fellow tribe member and local CrossFit coach told CNN affiliate KIRO that the teenager was not only "very nice," but ambitious -- such that he might have one day become a tribal leader.
Fryberg was an avid outdoorsman who liked to go hunting and had guns. Just three months ago, he posted a picture to Instagram of himself holding a rifle, along with the words: "Probably the best BirthDay present ever! I just love my parents!!!"
Schoolmates and his social media accounts suggest that all was not happy with Fryberg, especially soon before the shooting.
Luton said that, a few weeks ago, Fryberg got into a fight with someone who "said something racist to him."
Heckendorf elaborated "there was bullying involved and a couple words said towards him that he obviously didn't like," noting that Fryberg got suspended after the fight. A federal law enforcement source also said he'd been suspended.
That's not to say, as Heckendorf and others stressed, that this altercation necessarily had anything to do with what happened Friday. Police have not formally identified the attacker.
Looking to social media for possible clues
Other potential clues might lie in Fryberg's Twitter feed, which hints at a breakup with a girlfriend in recent months. It also includes a post from Tuesday saying, "It breaks me... It actually does... I know it seems like I'm sweating it off... But I'm not.. And I never will be able to."
His final Tweet, on Thursday, was much shorter: "It won't last.... It'll never last...."
That same day, Luton said he talked to Fryberg at football practice "and he was all fine."
And Heckendorf chatted with him even more recently, on Friday morning, asking Fryberg how he was doing and offering him his ear whenever needed.
"And he said, 'OK, thank you,'" Heckendorf said. "We did a little handshake, and he was off. He looked pretty content with life."
All these impressions, all these interactions made what happened later that morning in Marysville-Pilchuck High School cafeteria more shocking.
Heichel was there when Fryberg apparently went up to a spot a few tables away and fired his gun. When she heard more shots, she turned around and "saw him standing there ... the gun in his hand."
"When I saw him, I was like, 'Oh my God, that's Jaylen,'" she said. "I would have never expected it would have been him, out of all people.
"It was really heartbreaking for me to see that."
Jaylen Fryberg: the Washington School Shooter was 'Happy,' 'Popular': Students
Jaylen Fryberg, the shooter responsible for killing one student, injuring four and killing himself, was actually quite a popular guy at his school. Find out 5 things you should know about this high school freshman.
A Washington state high school student who opened fire on a cafeteria table full of students, killing one, before fatally shooting himself was described by classmates as a happy, popular football player who'd recently gotten into a dispute with another student.
Two law enforcement sources identified the gunman as Jaylen Ray Fryberg, a freshman at Marysville Pilchuck High School, north of Everett. He pulled out a small handgun and opened fire on a table full of students about 10:30 a.m. (1:30 p.m. ET), killing a girl and wounding four other people, three of them critically, police and witnesses said.
The names of the slain victim and those wounded weren't released, but police said all were under the age of 18.
"He seemed like a nice guy, and he had lots of friends," Erick Cervantes, 16, a junior, told NBC News.
Police didn't release a motive in the attack, which prompted a school lockdown that sent students running to hide in classrooms. But classmates said that Fryberg had recently gotten into an argument with another student that had racial overtones, and law enforcement sources said he may have been in recent disputes over a girl. In posts on Twitter, Fryberg seemed heartbroken over a breakup.
Fryberg was smiling and waving just last week at the school's homecoming ceremony, where he was crowned freshman homecoming prince. "He seemed like a normal kid," Madison White, 16, a junior, told NBC News.
But Friday, witnesses described him as blankly staring at his victims as he pulled the trigger.
"Sometimes the look I saw in his face was different, especially today," Erick said. "He looked very mad."
Jayden Fryberg was crowned Homecoming Prince at his school weeks before he brought a gun to school and started shooting. Find out 5 things, some shocking, about this troubled young student who perpetrated this tragedy.
Jaylen Fryberg: He Was Popular, A Football Player And Homecoming Prince
The high school freshman was actually quite a popular student. He was not only on the school’s football team, but he was also on the wrestling team. He frequently posted messages on social media about his love for sports.
He was also crowned the Homecoming Prince at the school dance in October.
Shooter Just Had A Difficult Break Up With His Girlfriend
A friend of Jayden’s spoke to Fox news and revealed that the shooter recently “went through a breakup.” He was dating her for over 2 years and she recently took to Facebook to unload her feelings post-break-up. She said that people came and went in her life “for a reason.”
Jaylen also spoke out on social media.
He was also pretty angry with his “brother” for possibly talking to his girl?
These weren’t the first frightening tweets from the young student.
Jaden Watched The Violent Show – American Horror Story
If anyone is familiar with the terrifying show, people get murdered all the time. Earlier this month, Jayden tweeted that he is a fan of the show.
He Was Facebook Friends Gia Soriano — Alleged Student Killed
The student who he shot and killed was allegedly a young girl by the name of Gia Soriano. Also worth mentioning — Jayden and Gia were friends on Facebook.
According to student witnesses, he walked up to a specific table in the cafeteria and started shooting. Another witness told CNN, “They were his friends, so it wasn’t just random.”
After he shot at the students, he turned the gun around and shot himself.
His Parents Bought Him A Gun For His Birthday
Jayden posted a pic with a gun he received for his birthday. In the Twitter pic, Jaylen was holding the gun with the caption “Probably the best Birthday present ever! I just love my parents!”
Allegedly, the gun he used to shoot the students was his dads, not his. Regardless, his parents were ok with him owning a gun of his own.
– Shira Benozilio