Maryland high school shooter dies after exchange with officer: sheriff

GREAT MILLS, Md. (Reuters) - A 17-year-old student shot and critically wounded two fellow students at a Maryland high school on Tuesday morning before dying after exchanging gunfire with a campus security officer, the county sheriff said.

The shooting, which came amid a renewed national debate over gun violence following a school massacre in Florida last month, occurred just before 8 a.m. (1200 GMT) at Great Mills High School in St. Mary's County, county Sheriff Timothy Cameron said.

A 16-year-old girl and a 14-year-old boy were wounded and taken to hospitals. The girl was in intensive care with life-threatening critical injuries, the sheriff said, while the boy was in good condition.

The gunman was identified as Austin Wyatt Rollins, and Cameron said there was "an indication" of a prior relationship between him and the female student, though he said that was still under investigation.

The latest in a long string of deadly shootings at U.S. schools and colleges took place a little more than a month after 17 students and educators were shot dead at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.

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Shooting at Great Mills High School in Maryland
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Shooting at Great Mills High School in Maryland
Maryland State Troopers are seen on March 20, 2018 at Great Mills High School in Great Mills, Maryland after a shooting at the school. A shooting took place at a high school in the eastern US state of Maryland on Tuesday, officials said, reportedly leaving several people injured just days before a nationwide student-organized march against school violence. Three people were shot in the incident at Great Mills High School, located about a 90-minute drive southeast of the US capital Washington, according to a county official quoted by The Baltimore Sun.Three people, including the assailant, were in critical condition after a shooting at a high school in the eastern US state of Maryland on Tuesday, officials said. / AFP PHOTO / JIM WATSON (Photo credit should read JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images)
LEONARDTOWN, MD - MARCH 20: A student from Great Mills High School is comforted be her guardians while being picked up at Leonardtown High School following a school shooting at Great Mills High School March 20, 2018 in Leonardtown, Maryland. Early reports indicate two students were wounded in the school shooting and the gunman died at the scene. Students from Great Mills High School were evacuated to nearby Leonardtown High School following the shooting. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)
LEONARDTOWN, MD - MARCH 20: A heavily armed law enforcement officer stands guard as students from Great Mills High School are evacuated to Leonardtown High School following a school shooting at Great Mills High School March 20, 2018 in Leonardtown, Maryland. Early reports indicate two students were wounded in the school shooting and the gunman died at the scene. Students from Great Mills High School were evacuated to nearby Leonardtown High School following the shooting. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)
A sign is seen in front of the Great Mills High School in Great Mills, Maryland after a shooting at the school on March 20, 2018 . A shooting took place at a high school in the eastern US state of Maryland on Tuesday, officials said, reportedly leaving several people injured just days before a nationwide student-organized march against school violence. Three people were shot in the incident at Great Mills High School, located about a 90-minute drive southeast of the US capital Washington, according to a county official quoted by The Baltimore Sun.Three people, including the assailant, were in critical condition after a shooting at a high school in the eastern US state of Maryland on Tuesday, officials said. / AFP PHOTO / JIM WATSON (Photo credit should read JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images)
LEONARDTOWN, MD - MARCH 20: A student from Great Mills High School is comforted be her guardian while being picked up at Leonardtown High School following a school shooting at Great Mills High School March 20, 2018 in Leonardtown, Maryland. Early reports indicate two students were wounded in the school shooting and the gunman died at the scene. Students from Great Mills High School were evacuated to nearby Leonardtown High School following the shooting. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)
Emergency personnel and law enforcement officers stand outside Great Mills High School following a shooting on Tuesday morning in St. Mary's County, Maryland, U.S., March 20, 2018. REUTERS/Sait Serkan Gurbuz
Emergency services and law enforcement vehicles are seen outside the Great Mills High School following a shooting on Tuesday morning in St. Mary's County, Maryland, U.S., March 20, 2018. REUTERS/Sait Serkan Gurbuz
LEONARDTOWN, MD - MARCH 20: Students from Great Mills High School walk to meet their parents at Leonardtown High School following a school shooting at Great Mills High School March 20, 2018 in Leonardtown, Maryland. Early reports indicate two students were wounded in the school shooting and the gunman died at the scene. Students from Great Mills High School were evacuated to nearby Leonardtown High School following the shooting. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)
Law enforcement vehicles are seen outside the Great Mills High School following a shooting on Tuesday morning in St. Mary's County, Maryland, U.S., March 20, 2018. REUTERS/Sait Serkan Gurbuz
Emergency personnel and law enforcement officers stand outside Great Mills High School following a shooting on Tuesday morning in St. Mary's County, Maryland, U.S., March 20, 2018. REUTERS/Sait Serkan Gurbuz
GREAT MILLS, MD - MARCH 20: Maryland Governor Larry Hogan, briefs the media about a shooting this morning at Great Mills High School on March 20, 2018 in Great Mills, Maryland. Two students were shot after another student opened fire in the hallway before being shot and killed by a school resource officer. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)
Frank Lanham (2nd R), a teacher at Great Mills High School leaves Leonardtown High School in Leonardtown, Maryland, U.S., March 20, 2018. Great Mills students and parents reunited at Lenoardtown after the shooting at their school. REUTERS/Sait Serkan Gurbuz
Great Mills High School 10th grade student Niyah Norton and her mother Chanda leave Leonardtown High School in Leonardtown, Maryland, U.S., March 20, 2018. Great Mills students and parents reunited at Lenoardtown after the shooting at their school. REUTERS/Sait Serkan Gurbuz
Law enforcement vehicles are parked in front of the Great Mills High School in Great Mills, Maryland after a shooting at the school on March 20, 2018 . A shooting took place at a high school in the eastern US state of Maryland on Tuesday, officials said, reportedly leaving several people injured just days before a nationwide student-organized march against school violence. Three people were shot in the incident at Great Mills High School, located about a 90-minute drive southeast of the US capital Washington, according to a county official quoted by The Baltimore Sun.Three people, including the assailant, were in critical condition after a shooting at a high school in the eastern US state of Maryland on Tuesday, officials said. / AFP PHOTO / JIM WATSON (Photo credit should read JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images)
Great Mills High School senior Wayne Waul (2nd L) and his mother Jill Ryan (4th L) leave Leonardtown High School in Leonardtown, Maryland, U.S., March 20, 2018. Great Mills students and parents reunited at Lenoardtown after the shooting at their school. REUTERS/Sait Serkan Gurbuz
Emergency services and law enforcement vehicles are seen outside the Great Mills High School following a shooting on Tuesday morning in St. Mary's County, Maryland, U.S., March 20, 2018. REUTERS/Sait Serkan Gurbuz
Maryland State Troopers are seen on March 20, 2018 at Great Mills High School in Great Mills, Maryland after a shooting at the school. A shooting took place at a high school in the eastern US state of Maryland on Tuesday, officials said, reportedly leaving several people injured just days before a nationwide student-organized march against school violence. Three people were shot in the incident at Great Mills High School, located about a 90-minute drive southeast of the US capital Washington, according to a county official quoted by The Baltimore Sun.Three people, including the assailant, were in critical condition after a shooting at a high school in the eastern US state of Maryland on Tuesday, officials said. / AFP PHOTO / JIM WATSON (Photo credit should read JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images)
A Sheriff's car is seen on March 20, 2018 at Great Mills High School in Great Mills, Maryland after a shooting at the school. A shooting took place at a high school in the eastern US state of Maryland on Tuesday, officials said, reportedly leaving several people injured just days before a nationwide student-organized march against school violence. Three people were shot in the incident at Great Mills High School, located about a 90-minute drive southeast of the US capital Washington, according to a county official quoted by The Baltimore Sun.Three people, including the assailant, were in critical condition after a shooting at a high school in the eastern US state of Maryland on Tuesday, officials said. / AFP PHOTO / JIM WATSON (Photo credit should read JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images)
GREAT MILLS, MD - MARCH 20: School buses are lined up in front of Great Mills High School after a shooting on March 20, 2018 in Great Mills, Maryland. It was reported that two students at a Maryland high school were injured after a colleague opened fire in the hallway just before classes began. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)
LEONARDTOWN, MD - MARCH 20: A student from Great Mills High School is comforted by a guardian while being picked up at Leonardtown High School following a school shooting at Great Mills High School March 20, 2018 in Leonardtown, Maryland. Early reports indicate two students were wounded in the school shooting and the gunman died at the scene. Students from Great Mills High School were evacuated to nearby Leonardtown High School following the shooting. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)
School buses, security and State Troopers are seen on March 20, 2018 at Great Mills High School in Great Mills, Maryland after a shooting at the school. A shooting took place at a high school in the eastern US state of Maryland on Tuesday, officials said, reportedly leaving several people injured just days before a nationwide student-organized march against school violence. Three people were shot in the incident at Great Mills High School, located about a 90-minute drive southeast of the US capital Washington, according to a county official quoted by The Baltimore Sun.Three people, including the assailant, were in critical condition after a shooting at a high school in the eastern US state of Maryland on Tuesday, officials said. / AFP PHOTO / JIM WATSON (Photo credit should read JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images)
Great Mills High School senior Wayne Waul (2nd L) and his mother Jill Ryan (4th L) leave Leonardtown High School in Leonardtown, Maryland, U.S., March 20, 2018. Great Mills students and parents reunited at Lenoardtown after the shooting at their school. REUTERS/Sait Serkan Gurbuz
A man looks out of a school bus on March 20, 2018 at Great Mills High School in Great Mills, Maryland after a shooting at the school. A shooting took place at a high school in the eastern US state of Maryland on Tuesday, officials said, reportedly leaving several people injured just days before a nationwide student-organized march against school violence. Three people were shot in the incident at Great Mills High School, located about a 90-minute drive southeast of the US capital Washington, according to a county official quoted by The Baltimore Sun.Three people, including the assailant, were in critical condition after a shooting at a high school in the eastern US state of Maryland on Tuesday, officials said. / AFP PHOTO / JIM WATSON (Photo credit should read JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images)
Great Mills High School senior Wayne Waul leaves Leonardtown High School in Leonardtown, Maryland, U.S., March 20, 2018. Great Mills students and parents reunited at Lenoardtown after the shooting at their school. REUTERS/Sait Serkan Gurbuz
Hi Twitter. I am in Great Mills HS. My school is on a very real lockdown threat and there’s already someone possibl… https://t.co/e1b8b5K2iQ
A shooting investigation is underway at Great Mills High School in Great Mills, Maryland. Multiple injuries have be… https://t.co/S4YypMbEQr
Shooting at Great Mills High School in Maryland, school confirms via the @FoxNews App https://t.co/gK1xdyxhaQ
As I'm dropping my little sister off at LHS I have about a dozen cop cars and two ambulances fly down the road past… https://t.co/HHjzr3PlVR
BREAKING: School shooting reported in Maryland. School officials confirm Great Mills High School is on lockdown.… https://t.co/8Hfl1yJoC2
We are aware of the situation at Great Mills High School. GMHS parents, please report to our auditorium. Leonardtow… https://t.co/S0W3HJXeew
School buses, security and State Troopers are seen on March 20, 2018 at Great Mills High School in Great Mills, Maryland after a shooting at the school. A shooting took place at a high school in the eastern US state of Maryland on Tuesday, officials said, reportedly leaving several people injured just days before a nationwide student-organized march against school violence. Three people were shot in the incident at Great Mills High School, located about a 90-minute drive southeast of the US capital Washington, according to a county official quoted by The Baltimore Sun.Three people, including the assailant, were in critical condition after a shooting at a high school in the eastern US state of Maryland on Tuesday, officials said. / AFP PHOTO / JIM WATSON (Photo credit should read JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images)
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That massacre sparked a new student movement against gun violence, including a national school walkout last week that Great Mills students participated in. It occurred just days before a planned Saturday march in Washington calling for new restrictions on guns.

Rollins pulled out a Glock semiautomatic handgun around 7:55 a.m. in a hallway and shot the students, the sheriff said.

The attack, which lasted less than a minute, ended after the school resource officer, Deputy 1st Class Sheriff Blaine Gaskill, ran inside the building and engaged with Rollins, with both firing a single round almost simultaneously.

The officer was not harmed, Cameron sheriff said. Rollins was confirmed deceased at 10:41 a.m. ET after being taken to a hospital.

Parkland students and Great Mills students exchanged supportive messages on Twitter following Tuesday's shooting.

"We are here for you, students of Great Mills, together we can stop this from ever happening again," Emma Gonzalez, a senior at Stoneman Douglas High School who survived last month's rampage, wrote on Twitter.

Cameron said investigators would determine whether the shooter died of a wound from the school resource officer's gun or in some other way.

An armed school resource officer had also been on the campus of Stoneman Douglas at the time of the shooting there, and came under criticism for failing to stop the gunman, who was armed with an AR-15 assault-style rifle. The officer, who resigned, said he had not been sure where the gunfire was coming from.

U.S. President Donald Trump and the National Rifle Association have proposed arming teachers to combat the threat of school shootings, while gun safety advocates have demanded a ban on semiautomatic rifles, among other laws.

The Maryland school is in Great Mills, a community about 70 miles south of Washington.

"You never think it'll be your school and then it is," Mollie Davis, who identified herself as a student at the school, wrote on Twitter. "Great Mills is a wonderful school and somewhere I am proud to go. Why us?"

(Reporting by Jonathan Allen and Gina Cherelus in New York; writing by Joseph Ax; editing by Scott Malone and Jonathan Oatis)

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