St. Mary’s County, Maryland, is not exactly on the national radar all that often. However, when school shootings happen, the people notice. So it is that Great Mills High School, one of a very few in the rural county on the southern tip of Maryland’s western shore, suddenly is known to people outside of the Navy and American defense industry contractors.
As soon as the gunfire began, Gaskill rushed to the scene. He fired a round at the shooter, who also fired a round at the same time, Cameron said.
It’s not yet clear whether the shooter, Austin Wyatt Rollins, was felled by the officer’s bullet or killed himself.
“DFC [Deputy First Class] Gaskill fired at the shooter … almost simultaneously as the shooter fired,” Cameron said.
“This is something we train, practice and in reality, hope would never come to fruition. This is our worst nightmare.”
Gov. Larry Hogan called Gaskill “a very capable school resource officer who also happened to be a SWAT team member.”
“This is a tough guy who apparently closed in very quickly and took the right kind of action,” he said. “And while I think it’s still tragic, he may have saved other people’s lives.”
Yes, it is tough, but this case may well be one outside the norm. It seems there was love involved.
The incident began in a school hallway at 7:55 a.m., just before classes started. Authorities say Austin, armed with a handgun, shot a female student, with whom he had a prior relationship, and another male student.
The girl remains in critical condition as of this writing, not unlike the “No we do not need armed adults in schools” argument. Clearly, in the case of Great Mills High School in Southern Maryland, an armed adult made all the difference.