Blaine Gaskill, a lone school resource officer who stopped a school shooting at Great Mills High School on Tuesday, March 20, in Great Mills, Maryland, is being called a hero on Facebook. According to CNN, the school shooting ended within seconds due to the fast response of Gaskill.
As reported by Heavy, 17-year-old Austin Wyatt Rollins was the honor roll student who died during his encounter with Gaskill after Rollins allegedly shot a male and female student. The quick thinking and response of the officer is also earning Blaine praise as a hero on Twitter.
It has yet to be determined whether Rollins died due to the encounter with the officer or to a self-inflicted gunshot.
CNN reports that Blaine is being hailed for reacting in a manner that an officer should react during a school shooting — by quickly engaging the shooter and returning fire. Gaskill’s response is being compared to the actions of the resource officer who allegedly waited outside in Parkland, Florida, when the tragic school shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School occurred on February 14.
Deputy Blaine Gaskill is one officer who has faced down a gun in the past, reports the Washington Post.
As seen in the video above from July 2016, Blaine’s body camera footage revealed him staring at the business end of a gun and shouting for a man to drop his weapon.
According to the Southern Maryland News Network, Blaine was responding to a domestic disturbance in Great Mills when he was informed by one of the residents in the house that there was an argument happening in an apartment upstairs. The video showed a woman leading Blaine to the apartment, but Gaskill soon after began yelling for a shirtless man to drop the gun that the man held in his hand.
The video footage shows the handgun pointed directly at Blaine as the man asked what Gaskill was doing in his garage. Finally, the suspect, 59-year-old Pekka Robert Heinonen, put his weapon on the ground before being arrested. Pekka faced several charges and underwent a preliminary breath test, which determined that Heinonen was under the influence during the melee.
Gaskill is being credited with responding in less than one minute to Tuesday’s shooting, which left one female with life-threatening injuries.