Peace Rally, candlelight vigil held for Great Mills High School shooting victim Jaelynn Willey
GREAT MILLS, Md. - A Peace Rally was held Sunday at Chancellors Run Regional Park in Great Mills, Maryland to remember the life of 16-year-old Jaelynn Willey, who died Thursday night in the hospital after she and two other people were shot at Great Mills High School in St. Mary's County on Tuesday.
The Peace Rally and Candle Light Vigil was held to show support for Great Mills High School staff and students.
Jaelynn was taken off of life support after she had been treated in the ICU at University of Maryland Prince George’s Hospital Center.
The large crowd here gathered at the park, chanting “We are Great Mills," and many offered comfort to Jaelynn's mother, Melissa.
Jaelynn is the second-oldest of nine children in her family and was on the school swim team, her mother said.
A YouCaring fundraising page created for Willey's family has raised more than $90,000 since the shooting.
Desmond Barnes, who was injured in the shooting was later released for the hospital.
His mother said at the vigil, “When I sent my son to school on Tuesday, I didn’t expect to get a call that my son was shot."
Suspected shooter, 17-year-old Austin Wyatt Rollins, died at around 10:40 a.m. at the hospital, after investigators say Rollins opened fire at the school just before 8 a.m. Tuesday morning, but was fatally shot after a school resource officer assigned to the school responded.
The St. Mary's County Sheriff Tim Cameron said school resource officer, Deputy 1st Class Blaine Gaskill, responded immediately and engaged the shooter.
On Saturday, several classmates from Great Mills participated in the March for Our Lives in Washington D.C.
Wearing gold and green, members of the Great Mills community wore their high school’s colors in solidarity at the march.
“I think our group consisted of about 250 people,” said Emerson Schaeffer, a Great Mills graduate who helped organize their group’s presence at the D.C. rally.
“Everyone was just overwhelmed and shocked that it would happen in a community like ours,” said Allison Pugay.