CHEVERLY, Md. - A 16-year-old girl shot inside a Maryland high school is brain dead and will be taken off life support Thursday night, her family said.
Jaelynn Willey was wounded in a hallway at Great Mills High School in St. Mary’s County by the suspected gunman, 17-year-old Austin Rollins, officials said. She was transported to the University of Maryland Prince George’s Hospital Center and had been in critical condition.
“On Tuesday of this past week, our lives changed completely and totally forever,” said Melissa Willey, Jaelynn’s mother.
The heartbroken mother revealed her daughter was shot in the head.
“As of now, Jaelynn is still on life support, but she will not make it," she said. "We will be taking her off life support this evening. She is brain dead and has no life left in her.”
Jaelynn is the second-oldest of nine children in her family and was on the school swim team, her mother said.
"It is with terribly broken hearts that we learn of the tragic news regarding Jaelynn Willey," Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan wrote Thursday night on his Facebook page. "No parent should ever be faced with a decision like this. There are no words adequate to express our compassion for her loving family and the entire Great Mills community. All of Maryland grieves with them, and they will remain in our thoughts and prayers."
Authorities said Rollins also shot a 14-year-old male student in the leg before being killed during an exchange of gunfire with a school resource officer who responded and confronted Rollins following the shooting of his classmates.
The 14-year-old victim was released from the hospital on Wednesday.
Willey and Rollins had a prior relationship that recently ended and the shooting is not believed to be random, according to the St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office.
Officials said the gun used by Rollins during the school shooting was legally owned by his father. It is illegal in Maryland for any person under the age of 21 to possess a handgun unless it is required for their employment.
A YouCaring fundraising page created for Willey's family has raised more than $72,000 since the shooting.