A student with a gun opened fire in a high school hallway in the eastern U.S. state of Maryland on Tuesday, wounding two classmates, before being killed during a confrontation with a school resource officer.
The latest U.S. school shooting unfolded as classes were starting at Great Mills High School in St. Mary's County, about 100 kilometers south of Washington. Sheriff Timothy Cameron identified the shooter as 17-year-old Austin Wyatt Rollins and said shots Rollins fired hit a 16-year-old girl, critically wounding her, and a 14-year-old boy. Both were hospitalized.
Cameron said school resource officer Blaine Gaskill immediately responded to the gunfire and exchanged shots with Rollins. Cameron said it was not immediately clear whether Rollins was hit by the officer or by his own round.
The sheriff said Rollins had a prior relationship with the female student, who sustained life-threatening injuries.
Cameron said law enforcement authorities engaged in a "mass response," adding, "This is what we train for. This is what we pray we never have to do."
Maryland Governor Larry Hogan posted on Twitter that his office communicated with Maryland State Police and other law enforcement agencies throughout the incident.
We are closely monitoring the situation at Great Mills High School. @MDSP is in touch with local law enforcement and ready to provide support. Our prayers are with students, school personnel, and first responders.— Governor Larry Hogan (@GovLarryHogan) March 20, 2018
A school shooting February 14 that killed 17 people at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, sparked waves of student protests across the country and renewed calls for tougher gun control laws and tighter security in the nation's schools.
U.S. President Donald Trump has called for arming some teachers after they receive extensive training, but has stopped short of pushing for an increase in the minimum age, currently at 18 years, for many gun purchases. Some lawmakers have also opposed banning the sale of assault weapons like the one used in the Florida shooting rampage.
Thousands of students are expected to gather in Washington this weekend for the "March for Our Lives" nationwide demonstration demanding more restrictions on gun sales and safer schools.