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The scene at Great Mills High School following the shooting there on Tuesday, March 20, 2018. (WJLA)

Sheriff's office: Student shooter at Maryland high school used father's gun

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By KEVIN CONNELL, ABC7 News

GREAT MILLS, Md. (WJLA) - The 17-year-old student who opened fire at a Maryland high school used his father’s legally owned handgun in the attack, the St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office said Wednesday.

Austin Rollins, of Lexington Park, used the Glock pistol to shoot 16-year-old Jaelynn Willey just before 8 a.m. Tuesday in a hallway at Great Mills High School. Austin and Jaelynn had recently ended a relationship, according to authorities.

"All indications suggest the shooting was not a random act of violence," the sheriff’s office said in a statement.

Austin died at the University of Maryland Charles Regional Medical Center after he was confronted and exchanged gunfire with school resource officer Blaine Gaskill in a nearby hallway. Authorities said Gaskill fired one shot at Austin, who simultaneously fired a shot, though it remains unclear if Gaskill's bullet killed him.

RELATED | Great Mills High School to remain closed until Monday, April 2

According to a student witness, Austin held the gun to his head and Gaskill ordered him to drop it.

Gaskill was not injured in the exchange.

Following his death, Austin was transported to the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in Baltimore for an autopsy.

RELATED | Great Mills HS students took part in walkout against gun violence a week before shooting

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Desmond Barnes, 14, was also injured in the shooting when he was shot in the leg in the same hallway. He was released Wednesday from MedStar St. Mary’s Hospitalwhere he had been transported for treatment.

Jaelynn was taken to the University of Maryland Prince George’s Hospital Center with life-threatening injuries following the shooting. Her mother told ABC7 News on Wednesday that Jaelynn was still in critical condition with no change in her condition.

Detectives are continuing to interview Austin's friends, family and associates to obtain further information, according to the sheriff’s office.

It has not been said how Austin was able to obtain his father’s gun.

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