GREAT MILLS, Md. — A teenager wounded a girl and a boy inside his Maryland high school Tuesday before an armed school resource officer was able to intervene, and each of them fired one more round as the shooter was fatally wounded, a sheriff said.
St. Mary’s County Sheriff Tim Cameron said the student with the handgun was declared dead at a hospital, and the other two students were in critical condition. He said the officer was not harmed.
Cameron said authorities were still investigating whether the shooter was killed by the officer.
“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.
“Simultaneously the shooter fired a round as well. So, in the hours to come, in the days to come, through a detailed investigation, we will be able to determine if our SRO’s round struck the shooter.”
This latest shooting comes as lawmakers nationwide are under pressure to take action against gun violence following the Valentine’s Day killings of 17 people at a Florida high school by a teenager with an assault weapon. Maryland’s Senate joined the House Monday night to ban bump stocks, which enable a semi-automatic rifle to mimic a fully automatic weapon.
Outside the school, a line of about 20 school buses formed on the street in front of the building. Ambulances, fire trucks and other emergency vehicles crowded the parking lot and the street. No students or parents could be seen outside at midmorning.
The St. Mary’s County Public Schools said the situation was “contained” after the shooting at Great Mills High School, which has about 1,600 students and is near the Patuxent River Naval Air Station, about 65 miles (104 kilometers) southeast of Washington.
Agents with the FBI and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives joined deputies at the scene. The county sheriff said parents or guardians should stay away, urging them to go instead to Leonardtown High School to reunite with Great Mills students there.
This latest shooting happened as many students are calling for action against gun violence in schools, leading up to Saturday’s March For Our Lives rally in the nation’s capital. Protests have been spreading around the nation since a teenager with an assault rifle killed 17 people at a Florida high school on Valentine’s Day. Threats against schools have proliferated as well.
Last month, the St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s office said it arrested two teenage boys for “Threats of Mass Violence” and a 39-year-old man on related charges after the teens made threats about a potential school shooting at nearby Leonardtown High. Police said they obtained search warrants and found a cache of semi-automatic rifles, handguns and other weapons.