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Maryland shooting victim dies after being taken off life support

The 16-year-old girl who was shot in the head by her ex-boyfriend on Tuesday at their Maryland high school has died. 

On Thursday, the parents of Jaelynn Willey told the media that their daughter was brain dead and that they planned to take her off life support. 

Willey died at 11:34pm that night, surrounded by her family, the St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office said in a statement on Friday. 

‘It is with heavy hearts and great sadness we provide this update,’ the office said.  

Jaelynn Willey, 16 (pictured), died Thursday night, two days after being injured in a shooting at Great Mills High School in Maryland

Willey's parents Melissa and Daniel (pictured above) held a press conference Thursday night, revealing that their daughter was brain dead and they planned to take her off life support

Willey’s parents Melissa and Daniel (pictured above) held a press conference Thursday night, revealing that their daughter was brain dead and they planned to take her off life support

Willey was shot by 17-year-old Austin Rollins just before classes started at Great Mills High School on Tuesday.

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. 

Another student, 14-year-old Desmond Barnes, was shot once in the leg during the incident but has since been released from the hospital. 

Police said Wednesday that the Willey (right), had recently broken up with the shooter, 17-year-old Austin Rollins (left)

Willey was shot shortly before classes started Tuesday at Great Mills High School. Rollins used his father's handgun, which was legally owned. But it is illegal for any person under the age of 21 in the state to possess a gun 

Willey was shot shortly before classes started Tuesday at Great Mills High School. Rollins used his father’s handgun, which was legally owned. But it is illegal for any person under the age of 21 in the state to possess a gun 

School resource officer Blaine Gaskill was credited with responding to the shooting in under a minute. Rollins died after the shooting, but it's unclear whether the fatal shot was fired by Gaskill or the killer himself 

School resource officer Blaine Gaskill was credited with responding to the shooting in under a minute. Rollins died after the shooting, but it’s unclear whether the fatal shot was fired by Gaskill or the killer himself 

The St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office said Wednesday Rollins and Willey 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 University of Maryland Prince George’s Hospital Center. A fundraising page to help her family has raised more than $77,000.

Jaelynn was one of nine siblings, her mother Melisa said at the Thursday press conference, and a member of the swim team.

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.’  

In an email Thursday to The Associated Press, Barnes’ mother, Kimberly Dennis, said her family is ‘eternally grateful’ that her son 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.’ 

A YouCaring page set up for Barnes’ hospital bills has raised more than $20,000.  

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

St. Mary’s County Sheriff Tim Cameron credited Deputy First Class Blaine Gaskill with preventing any more loss of life.

Another student, 14-year-old Desmond Barnes (pictured), was shot in the leg but has since been released from the hospital  

Another student, 14-year-old Desmond Barnes (pictured), was shot in the leg but has since been released from the hospital  

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.

Willey’s death came two days before students plan to protest the nation’s gun control laws with a demonstration in Washington, DC called the March for Our Lives. 

The demonstration was organized by survivors of the Parkland school shooting, which happened last month. 

In that shooting, 17 were killed when gunman Nikolas Cruz opened fire at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, which he had been kicked out of.  

 

 



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