The Chatter

Maryland Politicians React to Great Mills High School Shooting

Gunman was killed and two students were injured in the early morning attack.

By Michelle Harris | March 20, 2018, 4:33 pm

Great Mills High School students on March 14 for National Walkout Day -Joy Shrum
The Chatter

Maryland Politicians React to Great Mills High School Shooting

Gunman was killed and two students were injured in the early morning attack.

By Michelle Harris | March 20, 2018, 4:33 pm

Great Mills High School students on March 14 for National Walkout Day -Joy Shrum

Shortly before 8 a.m. this morning, Austin Wyatt Rollins, walked into Great Mills High School in St. Mary’s County with a handgun and began shooting students. Two students—a 16-year-old female and 14-year-old male, were shot and remain in critical and stable condition, respectively.

School resource officer Blaine Gaskill responded to the scene in less than a minute and fired a round at the shooter, who was pronounced dead. It has yet to be confirmed if Rollins’ fatal injury came from Gaskill’s bullets or the shooter’s own.

Parents of Great Mills students were directed to report to nearby Leonardtown High School for reunification. Shortly after the shooting was reported, Governor Larry Hogan reassured residents via Twitter that the situation was being addressed.

“We are closely monitoring the situation at Great Mills High School,” he said. “[The Maryland State Police] is in touch with local law enforcement and ready to provide support. Our prayers are with students, school personnel, and first responders.”

Other local officials and politicians were quick to offer “thoughts and prayers” to the victims of the shooting.

“My thoughts are with the Great Mills High School community as we grapple with yet another school shooting,” Rep. Elijah Cummings tweeted. “I pray for the victims of this horrendous tragedy and my heart goes out to their families.”

Sen. Ben Cardin expressed his anger and frustration saying that at a minimum, universal background checks and a ban on assault-style weapons are needed. He said he believes the momentum for gun reform is building and is fueled by student activism.

“These students are literally just not taking ‘no’ for an answer,” Cardin said. “I can tell you that Americans are listening to our students. I think our political system will respond.”

Rep. Steny Hoyer praised the first responders, more specifically Gaskill who “answered the call this morning with swiftness, professionalism, and courage.” Hoyer believes now it’s time for Congress to act.

“We sympathize. We empathize,” Hoyer said. “We have moments of silence. But we don’t have action. Wringing our hands is not enough.”

According to the Never Again Movement, this incident at Great Mills marks the 11th time a gun has been discharged in a K-12 school since the Parkland shooting in Florida on February 14. 

Last week, students at Great Mills participated in the National School Walkout to protest gun violence.

“Headed to St. Mary’s County to be with the students, teachers, and families of Great Mills High School,” said Sen. Chris Van Hollen. “Much gratitude to all the first responders. We must stop the epidemic of gun violence.”




Meet The Author

Michelle Harris is the digital content producer for Baltimore, where she covers news, community, sports, and beauty.



You May Also Like


Arts & Culture

Music Reviews: June 2018

Listen to the latest from Todd Marcus and Snail Mail.

In Good Taste

Food Inspection Discussion Ramps Up Following Viral Rat Videos

Community weighs in on procedures to prevent future infestations.

Arts District

BOPA Makes Big Push for Paper Straws at This Year’s Artscape

Pedicabs, paper straws, and zero Styrofoam will make for most sustainable festival yet.


The Chatter

Geppi's Entertainment Museum to Close and Donate Collection to Library of Congress

Museum to close on June 3 and donate more than 3,000 items of comic books, pop art, and other memorabilia.

The Chatter

Red Emma’s Moving to Former Spike & Charlie's Space in Mt. Vernon

Radical bookstore coffeehouse to move to expanded location later this summer.

On The Town

Sagamore Spirit Releases Cognac Finish to Benefit Ellicott City Flood Relief

Distillery teams up with Ellicott City Partnership to host fundraiser this weekend.

Connect With Us

Most Read


False Claims of Kinderman Passing Leads to Outpouring of Love: Beloved child entertainer John “Kinderman” Taylor is alive and accepting cards in hospice.

Are Two Flaccos Better Than One?: Joe Flacco's brother, Tom, transfers to Towson University.

Sagamore Spirit Releases Cognac Finish to Benefit Ellicott City Flood Relief: Distillery teams up with Ellicott City Partnership to host fundraiser this weekend.

And the 2018 Janet & Walter Sondheim Prize Goes To . . .: Winning artist announced during a ceremony at the BMA.

Under Armour’s New YouTube Series Highlights Baltimore’s Basketball Scene: The four-episode series follows the culture within the city courts.