A male student opened fire with a hand gun and critically injured two fellow students at a high school in St. Mary’s county early Tuesday before being fatally injured by an armed resource officer.
St. Mary’s county sheriff’s office said units responded to the call of a shooting at Great Mills High School at around 8 a.m.
St. Mary’s Sheriff Tim Cameron said a lone shooter, identified as Austin Wyatt Rollins, 17, opened fire as classes were getting underway for the day.
“There were two people that were shot, not including the shooter,” the sheriff said. “All three have been transported to medical facilities.
The sheriff said an armed school resource officer engaged the shooter, firing “at least a round” at the gunman.
“We know the shooting victims and the shooter were students at Great Mills high school. We don’t know their relationship. We don’t know the motivation,” Cameron told NBC News.
“That is what will happen in the hours to come as we piece the motivation and the relationship with everybody in this incident.”
At a morning press conference, authorities said the male gunman died from his injuries at around 10:40 a.m. A 14-year-old boy and a 16-year-old girl remained in critical condition.
WATCH: Video coverage of Maryland high school shooting
“When the shooting took place, our school resource officer, who was stationed inside the school, was alerted to the event and the shots being fired. He pursued the shooter and engaged the shooter, during which that engagement he fired a round at the shooter,” Cameron said.
Officials said the school had been placed under lockdown and that the incident is “contained.”
The school is about 110 kilometres southeast of Washington, D.C.
At an afternoon press conference, the sheriff said there’s an indication the shooter had a “prior relationship” with the female victim, who remains in life-threatening condition.
Units from Baltimore’s Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) were sent to the school to assist in an investigation.
Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan said his office is monitoring the incident at the high school.
“Our prayers are with students, school personnel, and first responders,” the governor said on social media.
The shooting comes amid a U.S. debate about gun violence in schools after the Valentine’s Day attack at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., where a gunman slaughtered 17 students and staff.
WATCH: U.S. students stage mass walkouts across country to protest gun violence after Florida school shooting
It also happened just four days before the March For Our Lives – partly organized by student survivors of the Parkland rampage – takes place in Washington to urge lawmakers to pass tighter gun control laws.
Jaclyn Corin, a Parkland school shooting survivor and an organizer of the planned march, said shortly after the Maryland shooting that “the state of our country is disgusting – I’m sorry, Great Mills.”
“Less than a WEEK ago Great Mills High School students walked out with us to protest gun violence … Now they’re experiencing it for themselves,” she tweeted.
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