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Maryland high school shooting revives American gun debate

Mar. 21, 2018
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A shooting at Great Mills High School in Great Mills, Maryland has left two student victims in critical condition, and one perpetrator dead. 

Before first period even started on Tuesday morning, a seventeen-year-old student shot a sixteen-year-old female student in a hallway on the first floor. 

Deputy First Class Blaine Gaskill, a school resource officer, responded quickly to the scene. He fired at the shooter, and the shooter immediately fired back. St. Mary’s County Sheriff Timothy K. Cameron told press, “The school resource officer fired a round, at least a round, at the shooter and, I believe, the shooter also fired a round.” The altercation between Cameron and the shooter wounded a fourteen-year-old. 

The perpetrator, identified as Austin Wyatt Rollins, was declared dead at 10:41 A.M. Tuesday morning. While authorities have determined that he did have a relationship with the victim, it is unclear what Rollins’s motivations were. 

Latoya Mason, a mother whose children grew up with Rollins, said to the Washington Post, “He’s not a bad kid, and he doesn’t come from a bad home . . . in five years, I never suspected that he was depressed or going through things. It’s sad that it had to go this way. I thought Austin was a bright kid with a bright future.”

Students were evacuated to nearby Leonardtown High School, where they were reunified with their parents. 

The St. Mary’s County Sheriff's Office told ABC 7 said that they made an arrest on a school shooting claim just last month. Two teenagers were arrested for “Threats of Mass Violence” at Leonardtown High School, the same building where Great Mills students were reunified with their parents on Tuesday. Police report that after obtaining a search warrant, they found semi-automatic weapons, handguns, and ammunition.

The Great Mills incident marks the third shooting on a school campus since seventeen people were shot and killed on Valentine’s Day at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. All of these shootings resulted in a fatality.