Deputy who confronted Great Mills High School shooter throws out 1st pitch at Nationals home opener
WASHINGTON - The school resource officer who rushed into action during the Great Mills High School shooting threw out the first pitch for the Washington Nationals’ home opener Thursday.
Deputy First Class Blaine Gaskill of the St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office took the mound at Nationals Park and threw the ceremonial pitch to Nationals' star pitcher Max Scherzer before Washington took the field against the New York Mets.
Gaskill confronted 17-year-old Austin Rollins after he shot 16-year-old Jaelynn Willey in the head before school began the morning of March 20, according to the sheriff’s office. The bullet that struck Jaelynn also hit 14-year-old Desmond Barnes in the leg, officials stated.
Jaelynn later died from her injuries and Desmond was released from the hospital the following day.
As Gaskill confronted Rollins, deputies said Rollins shot himself in the head and at the same time, Gaskill fired a shot that struck the gun that was in Rolllins' hand. Rollins was rushed to the hospital but later died.
Gaskill’s quick action was praised by officials as they said it may have prevented more loss of life or injuries.
The Nationals' lineup card was delivered by Reston native Maame Biney, who competed for the United States in short track speed skating at the Winter Olympic Games in PyeongChang, and Noah Grave, the Frederick, Maryland native who won a gold medal in sled hockey at the Winter Paralympic Games.
Mayor Muriel Bowser shouted out the honorary “Play Ball” alongside Parker Curry, the 2-year-old girl who was seen admiring former first lady Michelle Obama’s portrait at the Smithsonian's National Portrait Gallery after a photo taken of her went viral on social media.