WASHINGTON — A 16-year-old girl who was wounded in a shooting this week at a Maryland high school will be taken off life support on Thursday night, her family said.
Jaelynn Willey was shot in the head, which rendered her brain dead, according to her mother, Melissa Willey.
"As of now Jaelynn is still on life support, but she will not make it,” Willey said. “We will be taking her off life support this evening. She has no life left in her."
Jaelynn Willey was shot at Great Mills High School in St. Mary’s County, Md., by a 17-year-old student at around 7:45 a.m. Tuesday, just as school was starting. A 14-year-old boy who was also shot was later released from the hospital.
The shooter, 17-year-old Austin Wyatt Rollins, died after shooting Willey. A school resource officer fired a shot at Rollins, but it’s not yet clear whether Rollins was killed by the officer’s bullet or took his own life.
"My daughter was hurt by a boy who shot her in the head and took everything from our lives,” Melissa Willey said.
The St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office later said that Rollins and Jaelynn Willey had been in a prior relationship which had recently ended.
“All indications suggest the shooting was not a random act of violence,” police said in a statement.
Willey had been in critical condition at the University of Maryland Prince George’s Hospital Center. A fundraising page to help her family has raised more than $59,000.
Jaelynn was one of nine siblings, her mother said, and a member of the swim team.
The family of the other victim, 14-year-old Desmond Barnes, released a statement on Thursday night saying that Barnes is doing well and is "in good spirits."
They also extended their prayers for Willey and her family, as well as the Great Mills community and "young people around this country."
"As a community and nation, we must continue to work and fight for a world that is safe for our children," said family spokesperson Kimberly Dennis.
St. Mary’s County Sheriff Tim Cameron credited Deputy First Class Blaine Gaskill with preventing any more loss of life.
Cameron said Gaskill, a six-year veteran with SWAT team training, responded within a minute and fired his weapon simultaneously with a final shot fired by Rollins. The officer was unharmed.
On Wednesday, authorities said the Glock handgun used in the shooting was legally owned by Rollins’ father. In Maryland it is illegal for anyone under age 21 to possess a handgun unless it is required for their employment.
Contributing: The Associated Press