GREAT MILLS, Md. - There has been a huge outpouring of support for one of the students wounded in a tragic school shooting in St. Mary's County Tuesday morning.
A YouCaring fundraising page for Great Mills High School student Jaelynn Willey has already raised nearly $20,000 for her family as of 6 p.m. Tuesday. Officials say the 16-year-old girl suffered life-threatening injuries and is in critical condition in the intensive care unit at UM Prince George's Hospital Center. She was wounded after a 17-year-old classmate opened fire just before 8 a.m. in a school hallway with a Glock semiautomatic handgun.
"There is an indication that a prior relationship existed between the shooter and the female victim," said St. Mary's County Sheriff Tim Cameron.
Willey's family said in a statement:
"This morning, our family was devastated to learn that our beautiful Jaelynn was one of the victims in a school shooting at her high school, Great Mills. Jaelynn is an amazing young lady, whose peaceful presence and love of her fellow students and family is known throughout her Maryland-based school. The second oldest of 9 children, Jaelynn is not only a role model to her siblings, but also a dedicated student and member of her school's swim team. She also selflessly helps take care of her brothers and sisters each and every day, whether at home, or at the beach, one of her favorite places to be. It is hard for us not to see her shining, smiling face right now, and to see her light up the room with her presence. We know that many of you are anxious to hear about her condition, and we will update you when we can. For now, we just ask for privacy for the families as we deal with the shock of this situation. For those that are looking for a way to help, please keep Jaelynn and our family in your prayers. Also, please consider donating to Jaelynn's fundraiser, which will help with hospital costs and allow our family to be by her side during this ordeal.
A 14-year-old male student was also injured in the shooting after suffering a gunshot wound to the thigh. He was taken to MedStar St. Mary's Hospital and is in good condition, hospital officials said.
The shooter was identified by authorities as 17-year-old Austin Rollins. He died after being confronted by Deputy First Class Blaine Gaskill, a school resource officer. Sheriff Cameron said it is unclear if the shooter took his own life or was fatally shot by the deputy.
Great Mills High School was placed on lockdown following the shooting and students were later evacuated from the school. The students were transported by bus to Leonardtown High School where they were picked up by parents and guardians.