Just four days before hundreds of thousands of students are expected to gather for the March for Our Lives gun control rally in Washington, D.C., a student at a high school 70 miles south of the nation’s capital opened fire in a hallway before being engaged by a school safety officer.
17-year-old Austin Rollins confronted 16-year-old Jaelynn Willey — one of nine siblings who was a member of the Great Mills High School swim team — in a school hallway and then shot her with a Glock 9-millimeter handgun. School safety officer Blaine Gaskill arrived on the scene seconds later and fired at Rollins. A third person, a 14-year-old male student, was injured in the exchange of gunfire and remains in stable condition.
Rollins was pronounced dead at a nearby hospital a few hours later.
It’s unclear if the officer killed the shooter or he shot himself.
St. Mary’s County Sheriff Timothy K. Cameron said the shooting occurred shortly after classes began around 8 a.m. Tuesday morning.
The officer and gunman both fired nearly simultaneously in a school hallway, authorities said.
A prior relationship existed between Rollins and the female student shot and authorities are exploring whether it played a role in the shooting.
Information indicates that the school safety officer, Deputy First Class Gaskill, leapt into action very quickly. Maryland’s Governor Larry Hogan said Gaskill, 34, is a “very capable school resource officer” who is also a SWAT team member.
Officials cleared the scene and moved students to another high school in the area where their parents could pick them up.
It’s unclear at this time whose bullet hit the 14-year-old male student, who was hit in the thigh.
St. Mary’s County Sheriff Tim Cameron told WTOP that as to the ultimate motive or Rollins’ ultimate plan, Cameron said, “We don’t know, and we may never know.”
HAILED A HERO: Deputy Blaine Gaskill is the school resource officer credited with stopping the gunman at #GreatMillsHighSchool in St. Mary's County– responding within 1 minute of the time the initial shot was fired by the shooter. 🙌: https://t.co/lPZ3I2rIaZ pic.twitter.com/pf8UQ97XLl
— FOX 5 DC (@fox5dc) March 20, 2018
— lil' bean (@SaraAerin) March 20, 2018
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