Girl shot at Maryland high school identified, in critical care

By Sara Shayanian  |  March 21, 2018 at 11:37 AM
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March 21 (UPI) -- Police have named a 16-year-old girl who was shot at a Maryland high school, as the teen remains in critical care at a hospital Wednesday.

Authorities said Jaelynn Willey was targeted by 17-year-old Austin Wyatt Rollins Tuesday at Grand Mills High School near Washington, D.C. She and a 14-year-old boy were wounded by the gunfire. He is listed in good condition.

"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," Willey's family said in a statement. "We know that many of you are anxious to hear about her condition, and we will update you when we can."

A crowd funding page to help with medical costs had raised more than $42,000 by Wednesday.

During the attack, Rollins was shot dead by a school resource officer, who's a veteran sheriff's deputy with SWAT training.

Rollins and the officer fired shots "almost simultaneously," although it is unclear how he died.

St. Mary's County Sheriff Tim Cameron said there was "no question" that the officer's quick response saved more students.

"He had to cover significant ground. The premise is simple: You go to the sound of gunfire." Cameron said, adding the officerl "responded exactly how we train our personnel to respond."

Neighbors held a prayer vigil after the attack, and wrote well wishes for the victims and families on a "prayer wall."

Police are still trying to come up with a motive.

The shooting happened just weeks after a deadly attack on a high school in Parkland, Fla., that killed 17 people.

National Rifle Association spokeswoman Dana Loesch said the officer's quick response isn't being talked about because it "disrupts the narrative."

"This Great Mills High School armed school resource officer, you're not hearing anyone in mainstream media talk about it because it disrupts their narrative," Loesch said. "They do take issue with defending our most vulnerable and our most innocent and as a mother I will never understand that."

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