Two people were injured Tuesday morning in a shooting at Great Mills High School in Maryland, the St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office says. The shooter is in custody and was also taken to a medical facility, but it is not known if he or she is injured.
A teen boy and a teen girl were injured in the shooting, NBC Washington reports. The shooting happened just before 8 a.m. in a hallway at the school.
“The bell hasn’t even rung for 1st and the whole great mills is on lockdown,” a student tweeted just after 8 a.m. “You would never think this would happen to you.”
Another student, Mollie Davis, tweeted, “Hi Twitter. I am in Great Mills HS. My school is on a very real lockdown threat and there’s already someone possibly dead. Please pray for us.”
This is a developing story and will be updated as more information is made available:
1. A School Resource Officer Exchanged Gunfire With the Shooter, Who Is a Student, NBC News Reports
St. Mary’s County Sheriff Tim Cameron told NBC Washington that a student opened fire in a hallway at Great Mills High School, wounding two other students. The gunman then exchanged fire with a school resource officer and was also injured.
The three students were taken to the hospital in critical condition, Cameron told the news station.
Mollie Davis, a student at the school, tweeted, “There was a loud sound and everyone started screaming and running.”
“You train to respond to this and you hope that you never ever have to,” Cameron told NBC Washington. “This is the realization of your worst nightmare — that, in a school, that our children could be attacked. And so as quickly … as that SRO responded and engaged, there’s grievous injuries to two students.”
Cameron added, “Now begins the second phase of this operation and that’s the background and the investigation and the attempt for the school to return to normal, so to speak.”
2. The Situation at the School Has Been ‘Contained,’ but a Lockdown Remains in Place
St. Mary’s County Public Schools tweeted that the situation is believed to be under control, but a lockdown remains in place.
“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 school district tweeted. “Parents/Guardians should go to Leonardtown HS for reunification with GMHS students.”
Students will be bused to the other high school for reunification with parents and guardians.
“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,” the school district said on Twitter.
3. ATF & FBI Agents Are Responding Along With Local & State Police
Along with local and state police at the scene, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) and the FBI are sending agents to help with the investigation.
“Our Special Agents are now on scene assisting our St. Mary’s County Sheriff partners with this incident,” ATF Baltimore tweeted.
FBI Baltimore added, “Agents from the FBI in southern MD are on scene assisting @firstsheriff at Great Mills High School in Saint Mary’s County. Evidence Response Team is on standby.”
It is typical for federal authorities to assist in school shooting investigations.
Maryland Governor Larry Hogan tweeted, “We are closely monitoring the situation at Great Mills High School. @MDSP is in touch with local law enforcement and ready to provide support. Our prayers are with students, school personnel, and first responders.”
4. Students at the School Participated in the National School Walkout Day Last Week & Survivors of the Parkland Shooting Have Been Tweeting Support to Them
Students at the school joined thousands of others around the country in a National School Walkout Day last Wednesday on the one-month anniversary of the February 14 shooting at Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, that left 17 dead.
Mollie Davis, a student who took part in the walk out and tweeted about the March 19 shooting, said, “I made this video 5 days ago. Now my school is the target. WHY DO WE LET THIS KEEP HAPPENING??? I’m so tired I’m so tired.”
Survivors of the Parkland shooting, who have led efforts for gun control in the wake of the tragedy there, have been tweeting support to Davis and other Great Mills students.
“We are Here for you, students of Great Mills 💗 together we can stop this from ever happening again,” Emma Gonzalez tweeted.
Another Parkland survivor, Jaclyn Corin, tweeted, “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. The state of our country is disgusting – I’m so sorry, Great Mills.”
Students from Parkland and others around the country are preparing for “March for Our Lives,” which is set to take place this Saturday in Washington D.C. and in hundreds of cities around the country.
5. About 1,600 Students Attend the St. Mary’s County High School, Where a Threat Was Investigated Last Month
About 1,600 students attend Great Mills High School in St. Mary’s County, according to its website. Its principal is Jake Heibel and the school has about 150 faculty members.
The school is located at 21130 Great Mills Road in Great Mills, Maryland.
A threat was investigated at the school on February 21, according to The Bay Net, a local news site covering Southern Maryland. Concerned parents reported a Snapchat message on February 20 that warned of a possible school shooting. Heibel sent a note to parents after that incident:
Good Morning Great Mills High School Parent/Guardian,
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. However, we will have additional security today and we will continue to investigate the source of the postings. Also, continue your vigilance and alert us to any information you may encounter. If you see something, say something.
Tomorrow, students will have the opportunity to discuss school safety during One Lunch. I am very proud of our students and appreciate their vigilance and willingness to notify adults if they see something that concerns them.
It is not known if anyone was arrested in that incident.