A Great Mills, Maryland High School Shooting Happened A Week After Students Protested Guns
On Tuesday morning, March 20, multiple media outlets reported on a shooting at Great Mills High School in Maryland, located about 70 miles south of Washington D.C. The shooting resulted in the school being placed on lockdown, before students were later transported to another facility. The shooting resulted in three people being critically injured, including the shooter, according to The Washington Post.
UPDATE: The gunman, who was reported to be a student, died, CNN reported, after being confronted by a school resource officer. One student was injured and in stable condition, and another student was in critical condition as of early Tuesday afternoon.
EARLIER: The gunman, and two others who were injured, were all students, according to The Post. The shooter is reported to have been confronted by a school resource officer (SRO) at Great Mills High.
"As soon as the shots were fired, the SRO was notified by staff and students and quickly engaged the shooter," St. Mary’s County Sheriff Timothy Cameron said Tuesday, according to The Post. The school resource officer's action at Great Mills High marks a contrasts with the events at a Feb. 14 shooting in Parkland, Florida, where a school resource officer retired after failing to engage a shooter.
Earlier on Tuesday, as information on the shooting was scarce, a message on the Great Mills High School website confirmed the reports of the shooting, but made no mention of any injuries.
The message read, "There has been a Shooting at Great Mills High School. The school is on lock down the event is contained, the Sheriff's office is on the scene additional information to follow." The Twitter account for the sheriff's department in St. Mary's County also acknowledged reports of a shooting. "There has been an incident at Great Mills High School," the account tweeted on Tuesday morning. "Parents please DO NOT respond to the school. Report to Leonardtown High School."
Later Tuesday morning, at around 10 a.m., the Great Mills High website posted another message: "Students are being evacuated from GMHS and being bused to the reunification center at the Leonardtown HS campus. The building is orderly and the Sheriff’s Office is conducting an investigation. We will continue to update as more information becomes available."
Afterwards, reports confirmed that three people had been injured as a result of the shooting.
The reports of the shooting came a week after students from Great Mills huddled together outside of their school to join the National School Walkout On Gun Violence, a countrywide protest that called for a legislative response to the Feb. 14 shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.
The Parkland shooting reignited a national debate on gun laws and inspired the National School Walkout. On Saturday, March 24, another large scale demonstration against gun violence, the March For Our Lives, will be held in Washington D.C., with other affiliated marches happening around the country.
The shooting at Great Mills High School also comes a month after the school investigated a threat of a shooting made over social media against the school, according to southern Maryland outlet The Bay Net.
In response, Great Mills principal Jake Heibel wrote a letter to parents and guardians. The letter read,
Yesterday we received a report that a student in the hallway during transitions overheard two students mention 'shooting' and 'school'. We interviewed the student with our SRO, viewed video, interviewed other students, and contacted central office. The threat was not substantiated. Late last night, additional information was circulated quite extensively on social media about a potential threat at school today. Law enforcement was contacted and an investigation was conducted, which included interviews with students and parents to determine the validity of the potential threat. The threat to Great Mills High School has not been validated at this time.
Prior to Tuesday, there had been 16 school shootings across the country in 2018, according to research from CNN. After Tuesday, the shooting at Great Mills High School means one more will be added to the list.