ELLICOTT CITY, Md. - Howard County Police have identified the 16-year-old killed in her bedroom early New Year's Day as Charlotte Zaremba.
Investigators say Charlotte's mother was also injured, and the 15-year-old suspect is hospitalized in critical condition after attempting to shoot himself in the head.
Police were called to the home on Knoll Glen Road in Elliott City around 2 a.m. They say the girl's mother, Suzanne Zaremba, heard a scuffle in her daughter's bedroom, and when she entered the room, the suspect fired a shot at her, her daughter and then himself. Suzanne Zaremba was treated and released from the hospital, according to police.
Police have not identified the suspect, and investigators say it's unclear what, if any, connection he has to Charlotte.
Charlotte was a sophomore at Howard High School.
"She was one of the nicest girls I've ever met," said friend Taylor Carey. "If you ever had a problem, she was open ears. She touched so many people's hearts."
Brian Kushner, Charlotte's former martial arts instructor, told FOX 5 he was sick over such a shocking crime.
"I haven't cried yet, but I want to throw up. I've wanted to throw up all day," he said. "It's horrible, I can't put it into words, I just can't. For her mom to be in the room and survive. I mean, I just can't even imagine."
Kushner said Charlotte was always sweet and seemed to have a lot of friends He described her as quiet and small, but strong-willed.
"My daughter gave a perfect description: 'Small, but mighty,'" he said.
Students are planning to wear all black at school on Monday, and Charlotte's friends said they working to organize a vigil.
The principal at Howard High emailed a letter to parents Sunday informing them of what happened and letting them know extra counselors will be available Monday.
Howard County Police are asking anyone with information to contact them at 410-313-STOP or HCPDcrimetips@howardcountymd.gov.
Police were called to the home on Knoll Glen Road in Elliott City around 2 am for a report of shots being fired. When they arrived, officers found the teen, identified as 16-year-old Charlotte Zaremba, suffering from a gunshot wound. She was taken to Howard County General Hospital, where she was pronounced dead. The girl's mother, 52-year-old Suzanne Zaremba, was also shot. She was then to Shock Trauma where she was treated and later released.
According to police, the suspect is a 15-year-old male from Ellicott City, remains in critical condition at Shock Trauma with a self-inflicted gunshot wound. His name cannot be released at this time. Investigators aren't sure if he has a connection to anyone living in the house.
Investigators believe the mother heard a scuffle in her daughter's room around 2 am. When she went in to see what as happening, police say the suspect fired at her, then shot her daughter, and then shot himself. There's no word on a motive.
Another family member was also home at the time, but that person was said to have been in another area of the house and was not injured.
The investigation continues but police are asking anyone with information to contact them at 410-313-STOP or HCPDcrimetips@howardcountymd.gov.