Earlier this week, thousands of students across the United States walked out of their schools to call for action against gun violence precisely one month post the Florida shooting which claimed 17 lives.
Gaskill's interaction on Monday with the deceased gunman, 17-year-old Austin Wyatt Rollins, wasn't the first time he came face-to-face with a firearm.
The shooting rocked a nation still reeling from the February 14 massacre of 17 people at a Florida high school by a gunman with an assault-style weapon. Julie Yingling said three people hurt, including the shooter.
Gaskill and Rollins both fired "almost simultaneously", the sheriff said, and the investigation also continues, aided by school surveillance video, as to the circumstances of the injury to the younger boy, who was also in the hallway. We do know a shot was sacked from Rollins' gun the same time the SRO opened fire. They are investigating whether the officer's rounds struck the shooter; the sheriff added that Gaskill was not injured. Heibel said the school increased its security nevertheless after social media posts about a possible school shooting "circulated quite extensively".
The shooting came four days before the March For Our Lives - partly organised by student survivors of the Parkland rampage - takes place in Washington to urge lawmakers to pass tighter gun control laws. Seventeen people died in the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting, catalyzing a national conversation about gun violence in schools.
Local authorities released a photo of the school resource officer credited with stopping a school shooting in southeastern Maryland on Tuesday.
"This is what we prepare for and this is what we pray we will never have to do", the sheriff said Tuesday.
"It is an exceptionally tragic day", said James Scott Smith, the superintendent of St. Mary's County schools.
In regards to the system-wide "See Something, Say Something" awareness campaign, launched last week in Charles County Public Schools, with a variety of age appropriate activities and programs created to encourage students and staff to report any concerns to teachers, administrators or school resource officers, Hill said, "We have been working with our teachers, our principals and our students to take back ownership of our schools".
Police have named a 16-year-old girl who was shot at a Maryland high school, as the teen remains in critical care at a hospital Wednesday.
In July 2016, Gaskill was responding to a complaint at a Great Mills home when a man - identified as Pekka Robert Heinonen, 59 - pointed a gun at him, according to Maryland newspaper The Enterprise. A male student was listed in stable condition. "And, you know, so he was safe, school kept him, the adults that were there kept him very safe", said Fred Lancaster.
Education Secretary Betsy DeVos called the incident at Great Mills a "horrifying situation", and said her agency stands ready to help.
The Sheriff of St. Mary's County Tim Cameron said, "When the SRO fired, the suspect as described to me fired nearly simultaneously". Police said they obtained search warrants and found a cache of semi-automatic rifles, handguns and other weapons. "Just a week ago we were protesting against this, and now we have a shooting in our school".
"It happened really quickly, right after school started", Jonathan Freese, a Great Mills student, told CNN. "Great Mills is a wonderful school and somewhere I am proud to go".