St. Mary’s County, MD – An investigation into the shootings at Great Mills High School determined that the killer shot himself at the end of the altercation.
Police initially said they did not know whether 17-year-old Austin Wyatt Rollins had been fatally shot by a bullet from the quick-thinking school resource officer who responded to the scene on March 20, or if he had shot himself.
The St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office released an update on Monday with details and a timeline of the day.
The statement said that the school resource officer, St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Deputy First Class Blaine Gaskill, had fired once at Rollins, but that he didn’t hit him.
“Rollins fired one fatal shot to his head, simultaneously, DFC. Gaskill also fired one non-fatal shot, which struck the weapon in Rollins’ hand,” the sheriff’s office said in their statement.
The timeline showed that Rollins fatally shot his former girlfriend, 17-year-old Jaelyn Willy, in the head at 7:57 a.m. and then shot 14-year-old Desmond Barnes in the leg almost immediately thereafter.
Deputy Gaskill encountered Rollins at 8:00 a.m., and fired one round at him, according to the timeline.
Authorities have said from the beginning that they did not know whether Deputy Gaskill’s bullet had killed Rollins, but the school resource officer has been hailed as a hero regardless because of his quick and heroic response to engage the active shooter and neutralize the threat at the St. Mary’s County high school.
“It sure sounds like this is exactly the way it should have been handled by a very good SRO who is also a SWAT team officer… while it’s tragic, he may have saved some other people’s lives,” Maryland Governor Larry Hogan said at the press conference.
Willey, who was Rollins’ primary target, was taken off life support on March 22, after her parents announced that she was brain dead. She was the second oldest in a family of nine children, and she was a member of the swim team.
Police have not yet released any additional details about the nature of Rollins’ relationship with his victims, other than to say that he had a prior relationship with Willey.
Barnes was treated for a gunshot wound to his leg, and released from the hospital the day after the shooting.
After it was announced that the officer’s bullet was not the fatal shot, left-wing media pundits have been attacking 2nd Amendment advocate Dana Loesch suggesting that the officer had nothing to do with ending the incident.
Loesch’s comments were backed by active shooter studies which show that active shooters kill themselves 20 percent of the time after being engaged in a gunfight with an armed person.
According to the Federal Burueau of Investigation, 10.6 percent of active shooters from 2000-2013 killed themselves immediately after seeing law enforcement arrive, but before being engaged.
Twenty percent of the shooters who actually engaged police in a gunfight killed themselves during the gunfight.
Twenty percent of active shooters who were engaged by armed non-law enforcement killed themselves in the engagement.