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School shooting victim ‘brain dead,’ life support ending

A teenage girl who was shot when a classmate opened fire inside their Maryland high school is brain dead and is being removed from life support, her mother said Thursday.

Melissa Willey told news reporters Thursday night that her daughter, 16-year-old Jaelynn Willey has “no life left in her.” She said Jaelynn would be removed from life support during the evening, by the family’s decision.

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.”

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)

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 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 University of Maryland Prince George’s Hospital Center. A fundraising page to help her family has raised more than $59,000.

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, which said the gun used belonged to Rollins’ father.

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.

St. Mary’s County Sheriff Tim Cameron credited Deputy First 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 contributors include David McFadden, Courtney Columbus and Sarah Rankin.

Teachers and school employees depart Great Mills High School, the scene of a shooting, Tuesday, March 20, 2018 in Great Mills, Md.  A teenager wounded a girl and a boy inside his Maryland high school Tuesday before an armed school resource officer was able to intervene, and each of them fired one more round as the shooter was fatally wounded, a sheriff said.  St. Mary's County Sheriff Tim Cameron said the student with the handgun was declared dead at a hospital, and the other two students were in critical condition. He said the officer was not harmed.  (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

Teachers and school employees depart Great Mills High School, the scene of a shooting, Tuesday, March 20, 2018 in Great Mills, Md. A teenager wounded a girl and a boy inside his Maryland high school Tuesday before an armed school resource officer was able to intervene, and each of them fired one more round as the shooter was fatally wounded, a sheriff said. St. Mary’s County Sheriff Tim Cameron said the student with the handgun was declared dead at a hospital, and the other two students were in critical condition. He said the officer was not harmed. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

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)

Teachers and school employees depart Great Mills High School, the scene of a shooting, Tuesday, March 20, 2018 in Great Mills, Md.  A teenager wounded a girl and a boy inside his Maryland high school Tuesday before an armed school resource officer was able to intervene, and each of them fired one more round as the shooter was fatally wounded, a sheriff said.  St. Mary's County Sheriff Tim Cameron said the student with the handgun was declared dead at a hospital, and the other two students were in critical condition. He said the officer was not harmed.  (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

Teachers and school employees depart Great Mills High School, the scene of a shooting, Tuesday, March 20, 2018 in Great Mills, Md. A teenager wounded a girl and a boy inside his Maryland high school Tuesday before an armed school resource officer was able to intervene, and each of them fired one more round as the shooter was fatally wounded, a sheriff said. St. Mary’s County Sheriff Tim Cameron said the student with the handgun was declared dead at a hospital, and the other two students were in critical condition. He said the officer was not harmed. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

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. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon )

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. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon )

Police move students into a different area of Great Mills High School, the scene of a shooting, Tuesday morning, March 20, 2018 in Great Mills, Md.  (AP Photo/Alex Brandon )

Police move students into a different area of Great Mills High School, the scene of a shooting, Tuesday morning, March 20, 2018 in Great Mills, Md. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon )

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.  (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

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. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

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.  (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

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. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

Police move students into a different area of Great Mills High School, the scene of a shooting, Tuesday morning, March 20, 2018 in Great Mills, Md.  (AP Photo/Alex Brandon  )

Police move students into a different area of Great Mills High School, the scene of a shooting, Tuesday morning, March 20, 2018 in Great Mills, Md. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon )

Two students and a mother leave Great Mills High School, the scene of a shooting, Tuesday morning, March 20, 2018 in Great Mills, Md. The shooting left at least three people injured including the shooter. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon  )

Two students and a mother leave Great Mills High School, the scene of a shooting, Tuesday morning, March 20, 2018 in Great Mills, Md. The shooting left at least three people injured including the shooter. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon )

A mother walks her daughter, a student from Great Mills High School, to the car as she picks her up from Leonardtown High School in Leonardtown, Md., Tuesday, March 20, 2018.  A teenager wounded a girl and a boy inside his Maryland high school Tuesday before a school resource officer was able to intervene, and each of them fired one more round as the shooter was fatally wounded, a sheriff said. St. Mary's County Sheriff Tim Cameron said the student with the handgun was declared dead at a hospital, and the other two students were in critical condition.  (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

A mother walks her daughter, a student from Great Mills High School, to the car as she picks her up from Leonardtown High School in Leonardtown, Md., Tuesday, March 20, 2018. A teenager wounded a girl and a boy inside his Maryland high school Tuesday before a school resource officer was able to intervene, and each of them fired one more round as the shooter was fatally wounded, a sheriff said. St. Mary’s County Sheriff Tim Cameron said the student with the handgun was declared dead at a hospital, and the other two students were in critical condition. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

A car is towed away on a flatbed tow-truck away from the parking lot of Great Mills High School, the scene of a shooting, Tuesday, March 20, 2018, in Great Mills. A teenager wounded a girl and a boy inside his Maryland high school Tuesday before an armed school resource officer was able to intervene, and each of them fired one more round as the shooter was fatally wounded, a sheriff said. St. Mary's County Sheriff Tim Cameron said the student with the handgun was declared dead at a hospital, and the other two students were in critical condition. He said the officer was not harmed. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

A car is towed away on a flatbed tow-truck away from the parking lot of Great Mills High School, the scene of a shooting, Tuesday, March 20, 2018, in Great Mills. A teenager wounded a girl and a boy inside his Maryland high school Tuesday before an armed school resource officer was able to intervene, and each of them fired one more round as the shooter was fatally wounded, a sheriff said. St. Mary’s County Sheriff Tim Cameron said the student with the handgun was declared dead at a hospital, and the other two students were in critical condition. He said the officer was not harmed. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

A car is towed away on a flatbed tow-truck away from Great Mills High School, the scene of a shooting, Tuesday, March 20, 2018, in Great Mills.  (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

A car is towed away on a flatbed tow-truck away from Great Mills High School, the scene of a shooting, Tuesday, March 20, 2018, in Great Mills. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

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