A 16-year-old student who was shot by a classmate in the hallway of her Maryland high school on Tuesday morning died Thursday night after being taken off life support, officials said.
Jaelynn Willey — who was on her school swim team and was the second-oldest of nine siblings — was shot in the head by 17-year-old Austin Wyatt Rollins shortly before classes began at Great Mills High School in Maryland on Tuesday. The two had been in a “prior relationship” that recently ended, according to the St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office.
“This past week, 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,” Willey’s mother, Melissa, said at a press conference Thursday night. “We will be taking her off life support this evening. She is brain dead and has no life left in her.”
Using a handgun legally owned by his father, Rollins also shot a 14-year-old male student in the leg, but he was released from the hospital on Wednesday. Rollins died Tuesday after being confronted by a school resource officer, less than a minute after he shot Willey. Police are still investigating whether Rollins died after being struck by the officer or by a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
“It is with terribly broken hearts that we learn of the tragic news regarding Jaelynn Willey. No parent should ever be faced with a decision like this,” Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan said, after Willey’s mother announced the family was taking her off life support. “There are no words adequate to express our compassion for her loving family and the entire Great Mills community. All of Maryland grieves with them, and they will remain in our thoughts and prayers.”
Thousands of students are set to march in Washington, D.C. on Saturday to call for action on gun control — an effort led by students who survived last month’s mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.