Maryland school shooting victim has died

 
 
Updated 3/23/2018 1:29 PM
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  • Parents of Great Mills high school student Jaelynn Willey, Melissa Willey, and Daniel Willey, hold one of their nine children during a press conference at Prince George's Hospital Center in Cheverly, Md., Thursday, March 22, 2018. Melissa Willey told news reporters that her daughter, Jaelynn Willey, 16, who was shot when a classmate opened fire inside their Maryland high school, has "no life left in her." She said Jaelynn would be removed from life support during the evening. (Marissa Lang/The Washington Post via AP)

    Parents of Great Mills high school student Jaelynn Willey, Melissa Willey, and Daniel Willey, hold one of their nine children during a press conference at Prince George's Hospital Center in Cheverly, Md., Thursday, March 22, 2018. Melissa Willey told news reporters that her daughter, Jaelynn Willey, 16, who was shot when a classmate opened fire inside their Maryland high school, has "no life left in her." She said Jaelynn would be removed from life support during the evening. (Marissa Lang/The Washington Post via AP) Associated Press

  • This undated photo provided by the Willey family shows Jaelynn Willey. A teenager armed with a handgun shot and critically wounded Willey inside a Maryland school on Tuesday, March 20, 2018, and the shooter was killed when a school resource officer confronted him moments after the gunfire erupted. A third student was in good condition after he was shot. (Courtesy of the Willey family via AP)

    This undated photo provided by the Willey family shows Jaelynn Willey. A teenager armed with a handgun shot and critically wounded Willey inside a Maryland school on Tuesday, March 20, 2018, and the shooter was killed when a school resource officer confronted him moments after the gunfire erupted. A third student was in good condition after he was shot. (Courtesy of the Willey family via AP) Associated Press

  • This undated photo provided by the St. Mary's Sheriff's Office, shows Deputy First Class Blaine Gaskill, a school resource officer who engaged a shooter at Great Mills High School in Great Mills, Md., on Tuesday, March 20, 2018.  It wasn't immediately clear whether the shooter took his own life or was killed by the officer's bullet, St. Mary's County Sheriff Tim Cameron said, but the Gaskill was credited with preventing any more loss of life.  (St. Mary's Sheriff's Office via AP)

    This undated photo provided by the St. Mary's Sheriff's Office, shows Deputy First Class Blaine Gaskill, a school resource officer who engaged a shooter at Great Mills High School in Great Mills, Md., on Tuesday, March 20, 2018. It wasn't immediately clear whether the shooter took his own life or was killed by the officer's bullet, St. Mary's County Sheriff Tim Cameron said, but the Gaskill was credited with preventing any more loss of life. (St. Mary's Sheriff's Office via AP) Associated Press

  • Deputies, federal agents and rescue personnel, converge on Great Mills High School, the scene of a shooting, Tuesday morning, March 20, 2018 in Great Mills, Md.

    Deputies, federal agents and rescue personnel, converge on Great Mills High School, the scene of a shooting, Tuesday morning, March 20, 2018 in Great Mills, Md. Associated Press

A teenage girl who was shot when a classmate opened fire inside their Maryland high school has died, authorities said Friday.

The St. Mary's County Sheriff's Office said Jaelynn Willey died at 11:34 p.m. Thursday. Earlier that night, her family had said she would be taken off life support at the University of Maryland Prince George's Hospital Center. Melissa Willey told news reporters Thursday night that her daughter was brain dead and had "no life left in her."

The mother, holding a young baby, said, "On Tuesday ... our lives changed completely and totally forever. My daughter was hurt by a boy who shot her in the head and took everything from our lives."

The teen was shot Tuesday by 17-year-old Austin Rollins at Great Mills High School in St. Mary's County.

Rollins died after shooting Willey. A school resource officer got there within a minute and fired a shot at Rollins, but it's not yet clear whether Rollins was killed by the officer's bullet or took his own life.

The St. Mary's County Sheriff's Office said Wednesday that Rollins and the girl had been in a relationship that recently ended.

"All indications suggest the shooting was not a random act of violence," police said in a statement.

Willey had been in critical condition at the hospital. A fundraising page to help her family has raised more than $77,000.

Jaelynn was one of nine siblings, her mother said, and a member of the swim team.

The shooting broke out just before classes were to begin Tuesday, according to the sheriff's office.

A 14-year-old boy who was shot in the thigh during the encounter was released Wednesday from a hospital.

In an email Thursday to The Associated Press, his mother, Kimberly Dennis, said her family is "eternally grateful" that her son, Desmond Barnes, is "alive, doing well and in good spirits."

She expressed sympathy for Willey and her family and added, "We are also praying for the entire Great Mills High School family and young people around this country. As a community and nation, we must continue to work and fight for a world that is safe for our children."

Great Mills High School has about 1,600 students and is near the Patuxent River Naval Air Station, about 65 miles (104 kilometers) southeast of Washington.

Sheriff Tim Cameron credited Deputy 1st Class Blaine Gaskill with preventing any more loss of life.

Cameron said Gaskill, a six-year veteran with SWAT team training, responded within a minute and fired his weapon simultaneously with a final shot fired by Rollins. The officer was unharmed.

On Wednesday, authorities said the Glock handgun used in the shooting was legally owned by Rollins' father. In Maryland it is illegal for anyone under age 21 to possess a handgun unless it is required for their employment.

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This story has been updated to correct that authorities say the school resource officer fired a shot at Rollins, not at the female victim.

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Associated Press reporters Courtney Columbus and David McFadden in Baltimore and Sarah Rankin in Richmond, Virginia, contributed to this story.

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