Gunman Dead, 2 Students Wounded in MD School Shooting (Multi-Video)

Lone resource officer Blaine Gaskill's quick action stopped the Maryland school shooter and is credited with bringing the incident to a quick end. (Image courtesy of Facebook)
Lone resource officer Blaine Gaskill's quick action stopped the Maryland school shooter and is credited with bringing the incident to a quick end. (Image courtesy of Facebook)

By Terence Cullen, The NY Daily News

A student gunman opened fire inside his southeast Maryland high school Tuesday morning — striking at least one classmate — before being shot by a school safety officer.

Austin Wyatt Rollins, 17, whipped out a handgun inside Great Mills High School just before 8 a.m., shooting a 16-year-old girl with whom he possibly had a relationship, cops said.

A 14-year-old boy was also shot, officials said, noting they still weren’t sure who shot him.

(Sheriff Tim Cameron and Governor Larry Hogan give an update on the school shooting. Governor Hogan outlines his plan to make schools safer and stop school shootings. Courtesy of NBC News and YouTube. Posted on Mar 20, 2018)

Blaine Gaskill, the resource officer, rushed to the hallway where Rollins was, and the two fired a single shot at each other.

The officer wasn’t hurt, but his bullet struck Rollins.

Rollins was rushed to a nearby hospital where he died at about 10:40 a.m., according to St. Mary’s County Sheriff Timothy Cameron.

The girl, whose identity wasn’t released, is in critical condition with life-threatening injuries, officials said.

Investigators are trying to determine if their past relationship was a motive behind the shooting, Cameron said.

First aid was almost “immediately” applied, and CPR was performed on one victim.

The shooting rattled Great Mills, a town of about 6,000 and located 60 miles southeast of Washington, D.C, as officials described it as their “worst nightmare” and “worst fear.”

Maryland Governor Larry Hogan
Maryland Governor Larry Hogan

“It’s tragic,” Gov. Larry Hogan said Tuesday afternoon at a news conference.

“Our hearts are broken.”

He slammed state lawmakers for not passing tougher penalties for violent offenders and allocating money to school safety officers.

“We have to take action,” the Republican said. “I wish I could tell you that it’s not going to happen again.”

But Hogan praised the deputy’s initial response, saying he followed protocol and stopped the mayhem.

“It sure sounds like this is the exact way it should have been handled,” Hogan said of Gaskill. “This is a tough guy who apparently closed in very quickly took the right kind of action.”

The sheriff’s department has a certified resource officer assigned to all three St. Mary’s County high schools, according to its website, and “maintain a safe learning environment.”

(Learn More. Courtesy of ABC News and YouTube. Posted on Mar 20, 2018)

Students poured out of the school or fled in classrooms as the shots rang out.

Student Terrence Rhames was outside his first-period art class when he and a few friends heard “a loud shot” and fled to safety.

“As soon as we heard it, we started running,” he told MSNBC.

The 18-year-old senior saw a girl with a blonde ponytail fall to the floor, as stunned students and faculty tried to figure out what was happening.

“We saw the teacher looking at us with a confused look,” Rhames told MSNBC.

Austin Wyatt Rollins
Austin Wyatt Rollins

After the second shot, Rhames said, “He was hurrying to get other students in his class and we just took out the main door.”

The facility’s nearly 1,600 students were evacuated to Leonardtown High School about 10 miles west to be reunited with their families, St. Mary’s County officials said.

One unidentified mother refused to budge, however, raging against the school for letting the gunman get in.

“I don’t care about being in the rain,” she told ABC affiliate WJLA. “I want my son out of there.”

Roughly half the school’s students were reunited with their families by 1 p.m., according to St. Mary’s County School Superintendent James Smith.

(Parents anxiously wait to get their children after three hurt in Maryland school shooting. The gunman in a shooting at Great Mills High School in Maryland has died.The gunman shot a female and male student, who are in critical and stable. Courtesy of the Daily Mail and YouTube. Posted on Mar 20, 2018)

The educator also asked for vigilance as more shootings blight the country’s schools.

“I ask that we all stay informed,” Smith said. “If you don’t think this can happen at your school, you are sadly mistaken.”

Parents flagged school officials last month about threats over Snapchat that a student could shoot up the school.

Principal Jake Heibel told parents the threats were “not substantiated,” after faculty and the resource officer met with students.

The school would ramp up security, however, the principal said in a letter obtained by The Bay Net local news website.

Courtesy of Google Maps
Courtesy of Google Maps

The shooting comes just a month after 17 students were fatally shot at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla.

And it broke out just four days before some of those students planned a demonstration in Washington, D.C., against gun violence.

“We are Here for you, students of Great Mills,” tweeted Emma Gonzalez, a Douglas High School student who has railed against the NRA since the Feb. 14 shooting, “together we can stop this from ever happening again.”

(Emma Gonzalez, a student at the Parkland, Florida high school where 17 people were left dead after a mass shooting, calls out President Trump and the NRA by name at an anti-gun rally in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Courtesy of CNN and YouTube. Posted on Feb 17, 2018)

Some students at Great Mills High School planned to attend the rally in the nearby capital.

Since the Parkland shooting, there have been nine firearm incidents leading to death or injury have occurred at U.S. schools, according to Everytown for Gun Safety, not counting Tuesday’s incident.

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