Shooting at Great Mills High School


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March for Our Lives – the Great Mills shooting took place just days before the March

Great Mills High School is in Great Mills, about 70 miles southeast of the U.S Capitol, Washington, D.C. It has about 1600 students and a four-year graduation rate of 91%. It also has 56% of minority students according to Great Mills’ 2015-2016 improvement plan.

On the morning of March 20, a 17-year-old gunman named Austin Wyatt Rollins attacked and shot two students at Great Mills High School in Maryland at about 7:55 A.M. Just before classes started, Rollins attacked with a handgun. A 16-year-old female student was shot and critically injured and a 14-year-old male student was shot but is currently in stable condition. The gunman had a prior relationship with the female victim, according to the authorities. The authorities also stated that the gunman was the only fatality. Blaine Gaskill, the school resource officer, was reported to the school and arrived at the scene in less than a minute. Both the shooter and the officer fired a round. The gunman died after being transported to a local hospital, while the officer was uninjured. No one’s identity was released until about a day after the incident.

The entire incident was over in less than a minute. The entire school was placed on lockdown, and after a brief moment, the students were evacuated to a nearby high school called Leonardtown High School where their parents picked them up from school. Gaskill was praised all over social media for his quickness in ending the Rollins’ attack. If Gaskill did not arrive as early as he did, many more people could have been injured, or even killed.

Toni Foreman was a woman who lived near the suspect. She said that Rollins was a good kid and he would always help her shovel when it rained. “Whenever snow was out, he would help shovel,” said Foreman. “I’m just totally floored that it was him.”

Maryland governor Larry Hogan stated that they are closely monitoring the event that happened at the school for any clues about why Rollins attacked that morning. The Maryland State Police, the FBI, and some agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms are closely assisting with the investigation. Great Mills High School was one of the schools that participated in #NationalSchoolWalkout to protest against gun violence. The shooting occurred just days before the national March for Our Lives, a rally for student safety from gun violence. This shooting was reported as the 17th school shooting in the U.S this year, since January 1, 2018.