A 17-year-old boy opened fire at a Maryland high school on Tuesday in an attack that left two fellow students wounded, then died after a gunfight with a police officer posted there, amid a renewed national debate over gun violence in schools.
A YouCaring fundraising page established for teen, which identifies him as Desmond Barnes, has generated more than $12,000 for his family as of Wednesday afternoon. Rollins was confirmed dead almost three hours later at a hospital.
While a motive in the shooting can not yet be confirmed, Sheriff Cameron said the initial investigation indicated that there was a prior relationship between the shooter and the 16-year-old girl who was shot. There were no immediate official reports of casualties in the shooting at Great Mills High School, located about a 90-minute drive southeast of the U.S. capital Washington.
Cameron and Gov. Larry Hogan praised Gaskill for his quick action.
The motive for the shooting remains under investigation, but St. Mary's County Sheriff Timothy Cameron said detectives are exploring whether a prior relationship between Rollins and the female victim played a role. A 14-year-old boy was also injured in the shooting.
Great Mills High School remained on lockdown for some time after, but the shooting was "contained" when a school resource officer "engaged" the gunman, Cameron said.
"We are here for you, students of Great Mills, together we can stop this from ever happening again", Emma Gonzalez, a senior at Stoneman Douglas High School who survived last month's rampage, wrote on Twitter.
Great Mills High School is located in southern Maryland, about 60 miles southeast of Washington, D.C. Two students at a high school in the state of Maryland were shot.
Great Mills High School has an enrollment of just over 1,500 students, and the student body was about 56% minority students and had a four-year graduation rate of 91%, according to the school's 2015-16 improvement plan.
It was not yet clear whether Rollins took his own life or was killed by the officer's bullet, nor was it clear how the 14-year-old boy was wounded.
Blaine Gaskill, the school resource officer and a former SWAT team member, responded within a minute, firing one round. Every parent should be able to send a child to school without the anxiety that their worst fear might come true. The female student was hospitalized in critical condition and the male student was in stable condition, Cameron said.
St. Mary's County Sheriff Tim Cameron credited the officer with preventing any more loss of life.
Toni Foreman, who lives near the suspect and his family in nearby Lexington Park, said he was a good kid from a nice family who used to play catch and ride bikes with her son. "Our prayers are with students, school personnel, and first responders". The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives helped conduct an urgent trace for the gun, but how Rollins got his hands on it is still under investigation.
Cameron said at the news conference Tuesday, "This is what we prepare for".
"If you don't think this can't happen at your school, you are sadly mistaken", said James Scott Smith, the superintendent of Saint Mary's County Public Schools.
The school and college shootings have included several which took place during school hours and resulted in injuries or deaths, but some have also involved unintentional gunfire or occurred when the school was closed.