St. Mary’s County Sheriff Tim Cameron told the local station News 4 that the gunman, later identified as 17-year-old Austin Wyatt Rollins, entered the high school at the start of the school day. He shot a 16-year-old female student in the hallway, and a 14-year-old male student was also hit by a bullet. Rollins exchanged fire with a school resource officer — a trained, armed deputy sheriff named Blaine Gaskill — and was wounded. The officer wasn’t.
Andrew Ponti, an official with the St. Mary’s County Public Information Office, told CNN that the event was contained and the school was put on brief lockdown before students were evacuated and sent to a nearby high school.
The 16-year-old girl is in critical condition with life-threatening injuries, and the 14-year-old male student is in stable condition. Rollins, the shooter, died. The shooter had a prior relationship with the female student.
The incident occurred just days after students from across the country, including at Great Mills High School, participated in National School Walkout Day to call for gun control and honor the lives of the 17 people killed at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, on February 14. On Saturday, March 24, students will take part in the March for Our Lives in Washington, DC, to protest gun violence in America.
There’s been a lot of debate lately about whether more guns in schools are the answer. This is certain to add to it.
The Parkland shooting has sparked a renewed discussion about gun violence and gun control in the United States, including whether more guns in schools will help protect students, rather than fewer. The White House has proposed providing “rigorous firearms training” to school personnel — as in, arming teachers. President Donald Trump on Twitter earlier this month said he believes allowing teachers to carry concealed weapons and having armed guards on campus would serve as a “deterrent” to shooters.
Very strong improvement and strengthening of background checks will be fully backed by White House. Legislation moving forward. Bump Stocks will soon be out. Highly trained expert teachers will be allowed to conceal carry, subject to State Law. Armed guards OK, deterrent!.......— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 12, 2018
Last week, trained school employees accidentally fired their weapons in schools in separate incidents in Virginia and California.
Sheriff Cameron, speaking to News 4 on Tuesday after the Maryland high school shooting, pointed out that even as fast as the student resource officer (SRO) responded, two students were still shot. Of course, the situation could have been much worse.
“You train to respond to this and you hope that you never ever have to,” he said. “This is the realization of your worst nightmare — that, in a school, that our children could be attacked. And so as quickly … as that SRO responded and engaged, there’s grievous injuries to two students.”