LEXINGTON PARK, Md. - Neighbors of a teenage student who authorities said opened fire and wounded two classmates inside a Maryland high school say they were surprised to learn that he was the suspected gunman.
Many residents said 17-year-old Austin Wyatt Rollins came from a good family and all of their interactions with him were positive.
According to officials, Rollins shot a 16-year-old female student and a 14-year-old male student inside a hallway at Great Mills High School in St. Mary's County Tuesday morning just as classes were about to start. The teenager used a Glock semiautomatic handgun during the shooting.
Sheriff Tim Cameron said Rollins died after a confrontation with a school resource officer who responded to the scene. Deputy 1st Class Blaine Gaskill engaged and fired at Rollins almost simultaneously when the 16-year-old returned fire, Cameron said. However, it is unclear if Rollins was killed by the deputy or if Rollins died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound. The shooting remains under investigation.
Officials say they believe Rollins had a relationship with the 16-year-old girl, identified by her family as Jaelynn Willey. She was transported to the hospital in critical condition.
The 14-year-old boy was shot in the thigh and is in good condition.
Residents in Rollins' Lexington Park neighborhood said his family's home was filled with federal and local law enforcement officers Tuesday afternoon searching for evidence.
Several neighbors on this quiet street who have children that grew up with Rollins or currently attend Great Mills High School said they would never have guessed that he would do anything violent.
“He was a good kid,” said Toni Foreman. “He played with my son and his cousins when they were out there playing football during the summertime. He would help shovel snow whenever we were all out here shoveling snow. For Halloween and stuff, they would always have candy out for the kids. I never ever had any issues with him at all whatsoever.”
These neighbors said their hearts go out for victims along with Rollins’ family as well.