Watch CBSN Live

"Amazing young lady": 16-year-old critically injured in school shooting

Maryland school shooting

GREAT MILLS, Md. -- In the latest school shooting in America, the gunfire was over and done with in less than a minute. This time, the shooter, a 17-year-old student, was killed. Authorities said a 16-year-old girl who had some type of relationship with the shooter was critically injured, and a 14-year-old boy also was wounded.

Police said the 17-year-old, Austin Wyatt Rollins, opened fire in a hallway and shot the girl, Jaelynn Willey, CBS News' Jeff Pegues reported. Authorities didn't release a motive, but said they believe the girl and Rollins previously had a relationship.

"There is an indication that a prior relationship existed between the shooter and the female victim," said Sheriff Tim Cameron.

The family of the girl, a sophomore at Great Mills, confirmed she was shot. A statement on a fundraising page said -- as of Tuesday -- that she was in critical condition. 

Jaelynn is one of nine siblings, according to a statement from the family, and a member of the swim team.

"Jaelynn is an amazing young lady, whose peaceful presence and love of her fellow students and family is known throughout her Maryland-based school," the family statement said. 

Maryland School Shooting
This undated photo provided by the Willey family shows Jaelynn Willey.  The Willey family via AP

The fundraiser for the family on the website had already raised more than $39,000 by early Wednesday morning.  

"We know that many of you are anxious to hear about her condition, and we will update you when we can," a statement posted on the website said. "For now, we just ask for privacy for the families as we deal with the shock of this situation." 

The violence erupted as classes were beginning Tuesday at Great Mills High School in southern Maryland, in a community where many families have military ties, with parents working at the Patuxent River Naval Air Station or Andrews Air Force Base.

The school resource officer who responded inside of 60 seconds and fired off a shot at the attacker was praised as a hero.

It wasn't immediately clear in Tuesday's attack whether Rollins took his own life or was killed by the officer's bullet, nor was it clear how the 14-year-old boy was wounded, St. Mary's County Sheriff Tim Cameron said. But the sheriff credited the officer with preventing any more loss of life.

The officer, Deputy First Class Blaine Gaskill, a six-year veteran with SWAT team training working his first year inside the high school, responded quickly, Cameron said.

Within a minute after Rollins fired his first shot, Gaskill had responded and fired a shot of his own. Cameron said Gaskill fired his weapon simultaneously with a final shot fired by Rollins.

Gunman dead after opening fire at Maryland high school

"He had to cover significant ground," Cameron said of Gaskill's response. "The premise is simple: You go to the sound of gunfire."

At a vigil Tuesday night in nearby Lexington Park, religious leaders from different denominations prayed together for the victims. On a "prayer wall" at The Church of the Ascension, people wrote prayers in chalk. One said: "Lord, help the parents of the shooter to find hope and peace in you." Another said: "Please choose love."

Politicians responded swiftly with calls to change laws and policies.

"We sympathize. We empathize. We have moments of silence. But we don't have action," said the No. 2 U.S. House Democrat, Steny Hoyer, who represents the area in Congress. "Wringing our hands is not enough."