St. Mary’s County, MD – Three people were injured after a gunman opened fire at a Maryland high school on Tuesday morning.
The shooting occurred at Great Mills High School just before 8 a.m. on March 20, The Baltimore Sun reported.
“A male student produced a handgun in one of the hallways and shot another female student. There was also an additional student who was injured in that hallway,” St. Mary’s County Sheriff Tim Cameron told WUSA.
Sheriff Cameron said the “immediate response and engagement” of the school resource officer “stopped any further assault or attack on the other students.”
“The SRO engaged the shooter. The shooter and the SRO exchanged shots, and the incident ended there,” the sheriff said.
St. Mary’s Public Schools officials said that school was put into lockdown, and the situation has been contained, WUSA reported.
St. Mary’s County Spokesman Tony Jones said two of the victims are students, and that no fatalities have been confirmed.
The shooter and his victim were both transported to the MedStar St. Mary’s Hospital, and were said to be in critical condition, WUSA reported.
The school resource officer was not injured in the exchange of gunfire.
Senior Terrence Rhames told The Baltimore Sun that he was outside his first-period class with friends when he heard a gunshot.
Rhames, 18, said he knew what the loud crack was, and started running to a first-floor bathroom. He said he realized he was heading to a dead end in the building, and turned and ran out an exit instead.
“I just thank God I’m safe,” Rhames said. “I just want to know who did it and who got injured.”
The St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office has asked parents to stay away from Great Mills High School. Students will be taken to Leonardtown High School to be released, according to WUSA.
Update: The 17-year-old shooter who shot a classmate and wounded another was pronounced dead shortly before 11 a.m. on Monday morning.
A 16-year-old female student, who appeared to be the gunman’s initial target, was in critical condition at a trauma center in Prince George’s County.
A 14-year-old male student who was wounded was in stable condition, CNN reported.
“Our school resource officer was alerted to the event. He pursued the shooter, engaged the shooter, fired a round at the shooter,” Sheriff Tim Cameron said. “The shooter fired a round as well. In the hours and days to come, we’ll be able to determine if our school resource officer’s round struck the shooter.”
“This is what we train for, this is what we prepare for, and this is what we pray that we never have to do. On this day, we realized our worst nightmare,” Sheriff Cameron told CNN.
“The notion of ‘it can’t happen here’ is no longer a notion,” the sheriff said.
A spokesman for the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s (FBI) Baltimore field office said FBI agents are on the scene at Great Mills High School. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) was also on scene at the incident, the ATF’s Baltimore office tweeted.
Great Mills High School is located 70 miles southeast of Washington, DC. The school has more than 1,500 students, according to CNN.
Cell phone towers in the area nearby the affected high school were greatly overwhelmed by the amount of traffic in the rural, normally uncrowded region, causing panic among friends and family who were not able to reach students at the high school after the shooting.
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