Gunman Shoots 2 Students at Maryland High School and is Killed by Armed School Resource Officer


March 20, 2018

A student pulled out a gun and shot two other students at a high school in southeast Maryland Tuesday morning before he was fatally wounded, police say.



The student entered Great Mills High School in Great Mills at the beginning of the school day and used a handgun to shoot a female student in a hallway, Sheriff Tim Cameron said. A male student also was shot.

The 16-year-old female student was stabilized and transferred to UM Prince George's Hospital Center, and the 14-year-old male victim is in good condition, according to the MedStar St. Mary's Hospital.

The teenage girl was in critical condition, police said. 

The shooter, a male, has died, Cameron said.

"On this day we realize our worst nightmare -- that our greatest asset, our children, were attacked in a bastion of safety and security," he said. 

The student opened fire just before classes were set to start at 7:45 a.m., Cameron said. 

Terrence Rhames, an 18-year-old student, told MSNBC that he and his friends were talking in the hallway when they heard a gunshot.

"We were just standing there talking and we heard like, a loud shot, like a few yards away from us," Rhames said. 

Rhames said he and his friends started running to the main road outside and saw others "flooding out" the main entrance.

"You hear about shootings — you never think would happen to you," the teen said to NBC News. 

Information was not available immediately on the relationship between the suspect and the victims, Cameron said. A motive is not yet clear. 

The shooter and a school resource officer each fired a round, but authorities don't know if the officer's bullet killed the suspect, Cameron said. The officer was not hurt.

"When the shooting took place, our school resource officer, who was stationed inside the school, was alerted to the event and the shots being fired. He pursued the shooter and engaged the shooter, during which that engagement he fired a round at the shooter," Cameron said. 

Cameron said the shooter fired a round simultaneously. 

"In the days to come, through a detailed investigation, we will be able to determine if our SRO's round struck the shooter," Cameron said. 

The school was locked down and the incident was contained, according to the school's website. 

Deputies were called to the school about 60 miles southeast of Washington, D.C. just before 8 a.m. 

Cameron told News4 that his department prepares for emergencies. But despite the fast response of the school resource officer, or SRO, two students were still shot.

"You train to respond to this and you hope that you never ever have to," he said. "This is the realization of your worst nightmare — that, in a school, that our children could be attacked. And so as quickly … as that SRO responded and engaged, there’s grievous injuries to two students."

He added, "Now begins the second phase of this operation, and that’s the background and the investigation and the attempt for the school to return to normal."

A Twitter post from the St. Mary's County Sheriff's Office asked parents not to report to the school. They were asked to go to nearby Leonardtown High School to reunite with their children.


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