A 16-year-old girl, who had been shot by an armed student at Great Mills High School in Maryland, was being taken off life support, her family confirmed Thursday night.
Melissa Willey, the mother of Jaelynn Willey, made the announcement that the family had decided to take her off life support, at a news conference Thursday night.
Jaelynn, who was left brain dead with “no life left in her,” was one of two students shot by Austin Wyatt Rollins, 17, on Tuesday in a hallway just before classes began, according to the St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office.
The other victim is a 14-year-old male student, who was treated for a gunshot injury to his thigh and released from MedStar St. Mary’s Hospital on Wednesday morning.
Jaelynn had reportedly ended a relationship with Rollins recently.
“All indications suggest the shooting was not a random act of violence,” St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office said. Rollins fired shots with his father’s legally-owned handgun on Tuesday, authorities said.
A YouCaring page to cover Jaelynn’s hospital costs, which has already raised $68,000, read that the teen has been in critical condition since the shooting.
“Jaelynn loves the snow. I wish that she had been home today to sled with her little siblings,” the page said. “Instead it’s been 36 hours of being in critical condition after she was shot at her high school, a place that should be safe.”
Jaelynn had been taken to the University of Maryland Prince George’s Hospital Center after the shooting.
The shooter died in a hospital where he was taken after a brief confrontation with the school’s resource officer, Deputy First Class Blaine Gaskill. The resource officer was not injured.
Officials commended Gaskill’s quick response to the shooting.
“He responded exactly as we train our personnel to respond,” St. Mary’s County Sheriff Tim Cameron said.
Jaelynn’s uncle, Timothy Cormier, told CNN that the family is heartbroken about what happened.
“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 second oldest of 9 children, Jaelynn is not only a role model to her siblings, but also a dedicated student and member of her school’s swim team.”
“She also selflessly helps take care of her brothers and sisters each and every day, whether at home, or at the beach, one of her favorite places to be. It is hard for us not to see her shining, smiling face right now, and to see her light up the room with her presence,” Cormier added.
“She’s the most thoughtful caring person in this world. She has a heart full of love that can’t be met by anyone else. Her beautiful smile lights up any room she walks into,” Cormier explained.