March 23, 2018 / 12:52 AM / 6 months ago

Maryland high school shooting victim to be taken off life support: mother

(Reuters) - A 16-year-old girl who was critically wounded this week when she was shot by a fellow student at her high school in Maryland will be taken off life support on Thursday evening, her mother said.

Law enforcement motorcade is seen near the Great Mills High School following a shooting on Tuesday morning in St. Mary's County, Maryland, U.S., March 20, 2018. REUTERS/Sait Serkan Gurbuz

Melissa Willey told a news briefing at Prince George’s Hospital Center in Cheverly, Maryland, that she would take her daughter, Jaelynn Willey, off life support because she was brain dead.

“She will not make it. We will be taking her off life support this evening. She is brain dead and has nothing, no life left in her,” Melissa Willey told reporters.

A tearful Melissa Willey held one of her younger children as her husband, Daniel, stood beside her while she spoke about Jaelynn, the second eldest of her nine children.

Emergency personnel and law enforcement officers stand outside Great Mills High School following a shooting on Tuesday morning in St. Mary's County, Maryland, U.S., March 20, 2018. REUTERS/Sait Serkan Gurbuz

The fundraising website YouCaring showed on Thursday night that more than $72,500 of a goal of $75,000 had been raised to pay medical expenses.

Austin Rollins, a 17-year-old student at Great Mills High School, is suspected of bringing his father’s handgun to the school on Tuesday morning and shooting Willey in a hallway, according to the St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office.

Rollins had been in a relationship with Willey that recently ended, the sheriff’s office said in a statement on Wednesday.

School resource officer Blaine Gaskill confronted Rollins and fired one shot at him as Rollins simultaneously fired a shot, according to police. Rollins died hours later at a hospital. The officer was not harmed.

An autopsy is being carried out on Rollins to determine whether he was killed by a shot fired by the officer or from a self-inflicted gunshot. Investigators also remain uncertain over who fired a shot that hit a 14-year-old student in the leg, a spokeswoman for the sheriff’s office said.

A law enforcement officer armed with a rifle is seen moving past a teacher as officers respond to a shooting in this still image taken from video shot by a high school student hiding under a desk at Great Mills High School in St. Mary's County, Maryland, U.S., March 20, 2018. Video obtained by REUTERS

Reporting by Andrew Hay; Editing by Sandra Maler, Lisa Shumaker and Paul Tait

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