Maryland school shooting victim is brain dead, to be taken off life support, family open up

Junie Sihlangu
Mar 23, 2018
07:13 A.M.

A teenage girl who was shot by her ex-boyfriend at their school was declared brain dead at the hospital. Jaelynn Willey’s parents have now made a tough decision regarding her health.


Her parents have told the press that they decided to take her off life support. According to Fox News, Wiley was targeted in the shooting on March 20, 2018.

Wiley’s parents announced the sad news on March 22, 2018, at night. Melissa Willey told reporters that her daughter had no life left in her.

Willey, 16, was shot by Austin Rollins, 17, at Great Mills High School. Investigators said that Willey and Rollins had recently ended a relationship and the shooting had not been random.


Rollins was fatally shot after being confronted by an armed school resource officer. But it is not clear whether Rollins took his own life or was killed by the officer.

Willey had been in critical condition at the University of Maryland Prince George's Hospital Center. More than $59,000 was raised to help her family through a fundraising page.

"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."

Melissa Willey, Fox News, March 23, 2018

The teenager was one of nine siblings and a member of the swim team according to her mother. Desmond Barnes, 14, was shot in the thigh during the encounter but he was released on Wednesday from a hospital.

The Associated Press received an email on Thursday from his mother, Kimberly Dennis, that said her family was grateful that her son was alive, doing well, and in good spirits.


Dennis also expressed sympathy for Willey and her family. ‘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,’ said Dennis.

Great Mills High School has about 1,600 students and is near the Patuxent River Naval Air Station. It is about 65 miles southeast of Washington.


St. Mary's County Sheriff Tim Cameron credited Deputy First Class Blaine Gaskill for preventing any more loss of life on that day. Gaskill is a six-year veteran with SWAT team training.

Cameron credited him with responded within a minute and firing 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 the age of 21 to possess a handgun.

It’s only allowed if it is required for their employment.

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