Early Tuesday morning, a teenage gunman, later identified as Austin Wyatt Rollins, brought a handgun to his school, shooting two classmates; after a shoot-off between him and an armed school resource officer, or “SRO,” himself later identified as Blaine Gaskill, Rollins eventually lost his life, although early reports of the incident could not confirm if he had been shot by the SRO or if he had been hurt by a self-inflicted gunshot.
According to USA Today, the situation Tuesday morning was explained as follows:
“A male student (now identified as Rollins) fired at a female student in a hallway, also hitting a male student. An armed school resources officer arrived at the scene, exchanging shots with the gunman.”
Who is Blaine Gaskill?
Although early reports did not identify Gaskill as the SRO involved in the story, Blaine Gaskill is listed as in the position on the school’s official website, where he was given the title of Deputy.
According to The Maryland Enterprise, Gaskill made headlines last year for a story in which a man identified as Pekka Robert Heinonen was accused of pulling a gun on him.
According to the St. Mary County Sheriff’s Department official website, the School Resource Officer (SRO) has been a part of the school since the 1998-1999 school year; the position is described as follows in the statement below:
“[A SRO] performs a variety of roles to include being a mentor, teacher and a law enforcement resource for both students and staff. They work with the school faculty to maintain a safe learning environment. Each SRO is certified through the National Association of School Resource Officers (N.A.S.R.O.) as well as through DARE America to teach the middle school DARE curriculum.”