Jaelynn Willey, the 16-year-old girl who was shot by an armed student at a Maryland high school, has died after being taken off life support. Here’s what you should know about her.
The parents of 16-year-old Jaelynn Willey took her daughter off life support after she was shot at Great Mills High School in Maryland by an armed student.The St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office announced on March 23 that Willey died the night before at 11:34 p.m. ET while surrounded by family. Here’s what you need to know about her:
1. She was shot in the head by fellow student Austin Wyatt Rollins. Willey was one of two students shot by the 17-year-old student on March 20 in a hallway right before classes began for the day, according to the St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office. The other victim, a 14-year-old boy named Desmond Barnes, was shot in the leg and discharged from the hospital the following day.
2. Her family decided to take her off life support. Willey was taken off life support the night of March 22. “As of now Jaelynn is still on life support, but she will not make it. We will be taking her off life support this evening. She has no life left in her,” the teen’s mom, Melissa Willey, said in a news conference earlier that day. Before making the difficult decision, a YouCaring page had been set up for Willey’s hospital costs, which raised over $ 79,000. “Jaelynn loves the snow. I wish that she had been home today to sled with her little siblings,” the page said in a post from March 22 . “Instead it’s been 36 hours of being in critical condition after she was shot at her high school, a place that should be safe.”
3. She had a “previous relationship” with the shooter. It’s unclear what the shooter’s relationship to the other victim is, but it’s been revealed that Willey and Rollins previously dated. “Rollins and the female victim had a prior relationship that recently ended,” the St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office said in a statement. ‘‘All indications suggest the shooting was not a random act of violence.” Rollin’s motive in the shooting that critically injured his ex-girlfriend is unknown, and likely won’t be revealed as he died during the incident after a shootout with a School Resource Officer.
4. She had eight siblings. Willey’s uncle Timothy Cormier told CNN that their family was devastated after she was injured. “Jaelynn is an amazing young lady, whose peaceful presence and love of her fellow students and family is known throughout her Maryland-based school,” he said, adding that she was a role model to her siblings. The second oldest of 9 children also “selflessly helps take care of her brothers and sisters each and every day, whether at home, or at the beach, one of her favorite places to be. It is hard for us not to see her shining, smiling face right now, and to see her light up the room with her presence,” Cormier said.
5. She was a swimmer. Her uncle revealed to CNN that his niece was a “dedicated student and member of her school’s swim team.”
Our hearts are with Willey’s loved ones during this incredibly difficult time.