The shooter, 17-year-old Austin Wyatt Rollins, [left], a student at about 70 miles south of Washington, D.C. opened fire in a hallway shortly before classes began around 7.55 a.m., striking a female and male student, said Sheriff Timothy K. Cameron.
He shooter pulled out a handgun and shot a 16-year-old girl before being injured himself in an exchange of fire with the resource officer. A 14-year-old male student was also hit by a bullet. Both students were severely injured.
Troopers guard students as they leave Students Great Mills High School after the shooting
Victim: Jaelynn Willey [photo] is still in intensive care after being shot by Austin Rollins. Police say the pair had a ‘prior relationship’
Students and staff quickly notified an armed school resource officer, who pursued the shooter and fired a single shot at him, Cameron said at a press conference around 11:30 a.m. The shooter fired back, but the resource officer was not injured in the shooting. All three victims were transported to MedStar in St. Mary’s County, where the gunman succumbed to his injuries around two hours later, sheriff Cameron said.
“On this day, we realized our worst nightmare,” Cameron said. “Our children were attacked in a bastion of safety… The notion that it can’t happen here is no longer a notion.”
The school resource officer was not injured, the sheriff said.
The school was placed on lock down as the situation unfolded.
The shooting comes as many students across the country are calling for effective gun controls, leading up to Saturday’s ‘March For Our Lives’ rally against gun violence in schools, in Washington D.C.
Maryland state Troopers secure the school
“Our school resource officer was alerted to the events,” Cameron said. “He engaged the shooter and fired a round, subsequently the shooter fired a round as well.” Cameron said. There was “no question” the situation would have been worse if the SRO had not engaged the shooter.
“In my mind, it’s a school shooting in the classical sense, but the investigation will have to determine if there was any connection between the shooter and the victims,” sheriff Cameron said.
The YouCaring fund, started by a family friend to raise money for her medical bills, has already raised $$14,585 as of a targeted $30,000
As Rollins identity came to light, it was revealed that Austin Rollins appears to be a gun-friendly family. One of his relatives after learning about the attack posted a message concerning his welfare: ”Prayers going out for my Brother in Law, [Austin’s dad], and his family, his son Austins school was involved in an active shooter situation. We have still not heard if Austin Rollins is ok or not”.
In another instance from back in 2011, another close relative posted their support of the Second Amendment on Facebook: “We ask that all gun owners put this on their wall. The Supreme Court of the United States has affirmed that the right ot keep and bear arms is a fundamental right of the individual. If you believe in the 2nd Amendment, and you are not afraid to show it, re-post this!!! …
“I hope to see this re-posted a lot by my friends. Remember, if we outlaw guns, then only outlaws will have guns.”
Officials with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives Hyattsville offices were enroute to the school, according to a message on Twitter. The FBI’s Baltimore office also said they are on the scene, assisting local authorities.
Students and a parent leave Great Mills High School after the shooting
Great Mills High School has had recent safety concerns.
Parents at the school became worried after a Feb. 20 Snapchat post that warned students of a possible shooting, according to The Bay Net. com.
Snapchat post from last month allegedly, warns students of a possible shooting planned to take place in the upcoming days.
In response to the threat, school principal, Jake Heibel, sent a message to parents and told of a report of a student in a hallway mentioning a shooting. He said it had been investigated and “the threat was not substantiated.”
“Good Morning Great Mills High School Parent/Guardian,
Yesterday we received a report that a student in the hallway during transitions overheard two students mention “shooting” and “school”. We interviewed the student with our SRO, viewed video, interviewed other students, and contacted central office. The threat was not substantiated. Late last night, additional information was circulated quite extensively on social media about a potential threat at school today. Law enforcement was contacted and an investigation was conducted, which included interviews with students and parents to determine the validity of the potential threat. The threat to Great Mills High School has not been validated at this time. However, we will have additional security today and we will continue to investigate the source of the postings. Also, continue your vigilance and alert us to any information you may encounter. If you see something, say something.
Tomorrow, students will have the opportunity to discuss school safety during One Lunch. I am very proud of our students and appreciate their vigilance and willingness to notify adults if they see something that concerns them.
Thank you and please let me know if you have any questions or concerns.
Dr. Jake Heibel
Sheriff’s office warn parents to stay away from the school
Great Mills High School in southern Maryland, where the incident occurred, has about 1,600 students.
A spokesman for Hogan said the governor was monitoring the situation and had canceled a planned radio appearance Tuesday morning.
House Minority Whip Steny H. Hoyer (D-Md.), whose district includes St. Mary’s County, canceled his usual weekly briefing on Capitol Hill and tweeted that his prayers “are with the students, parents, and teachers” at Great Mills..
Great Mills, Maryland, about 70 miles southeast of Washington, D.C. the school has more than 1,500 students, about 56% of them minority students, and its four-year graduation rate is 91%, according to the school’s 2015-16 improvement plan.