US & Canada

Maryland school shooting victim taken off life support

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Media caption'Greatest nightmare - our children attacked'

A 16-year-old girl who was shot in the head by a classmate in Maryland has died, hours after her parents said she would be taken off life support.

Jaelynn Willey, who was one of two students shot, died on Thursday night, police confirmed.

Austin Rollins, with whom Ms Willey was previously in a relationship, allegedly opened fire before classes on Tuesday. He was also killed in the incident.

The shooting comes a month after a high school gunman killed 17 in Florida.

The St Mary's County Sheriff's office announced in a statement that Ms Willey died at 23:30 local time (03:30 GMT) on Thursday night.

"It is with heavy hearts and great sadness we provide this update," the sheriff's office said.

The teenager's mother, Melissa Willey, tearfully announced her daughter would be taken off life support on Thursday night, adding she had "no life left in her".

"On Tuesday...our lives changed completely and totally forever. My daughter was hurt by a boy who shot her in the head and took everything from our lives." Melissa Willey told reporters while holding a baby.

Her mother said her daughter is one of nine siblings and a member of the school swim team.

Image copyright Jaelynn Willey family
Image caption Jaelynn Willey died on Thursday night, officials say

Some 1,600 students attend the Great Mills High School near the Chesapeake Bay, where Mr Rollins shot Ms Willey and a 14-year-old boy.

The boy suffered a gunshot wound to the thigh and was released from hospital on Wednesday, police said.

St Mary's County Sheriff's Deputy Blaine Gaskill, who was assigned to the school as a resource officer, shot at the suspect as he allegedly fired back. The suspect later died in hospital.

Image copyright St Mary's County
Image caption School resource officer Blaine Gaskill engaged the shooter

Police said Mr Rollins took the handgun from his father, who acquired it legally.

Jaelynn Willey and the suspected gunman "had a prior relationship which recently ended," the St Mary's County Sheriff's Office said. "All indications suggest the shooting was not a random act of violence."

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Media captionThousands of US students protest for gun reform

The attack comes days before victims of the school shooting in Parkland, Florida, where 17 people were killed, are expected to lead thousands in a march on Washington to rally for gun control.

Students from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School have reignited a national debate on the issue, calling on lawmakers to pass stricter measures on gun control.

The student activists were meeting lawmakers on Friday ahead of the the planned March for Our Lives protest on Saturday.

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Image caption Students from Marjory Stoneman Douglas School gather in Washington, DC on Friday ahead of the march

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