Episcopalians join other people of faith in prayers for Maryland school shooting

Posted Mar 20, 2018

[Episcopal News Service] Church of the Ascension, Lexington Park, Maryland, will be the site of a community prayer service March 20 in response to the latest school shooting in the U.S.

A 17-year-old male student shot two other students at Great Mills High School about two miles from the church earlier that morning before a school resource officer engaged him and stopped the threat, according to St. Mary’s County Sheriff Tim Cameron. CNN reported that the student was Austin Wyatt Rollins and said the sheriff reported that the shooting began in a school hallway at 7:55 a.m., just before classes started. Rollins, armed with a handgun, shot a female and a male student. The shooter had a prior relationship with the female student, according to the sheriff.

Rollins was dead at the scene, and the Associated Press reported that Cameron said it wasn’t immediately clear whether the shooter took his own life or was killed by school resource officer Blaine Gaskill’s bullet. The 16-year-old female victim has a life-threatening injury, and a 14-year-old boy also suffered a gunshot wound to the thigh, but it wasn’t clear who shot him, the news service reported.

The prayer service at Ascension, a parish in the Episcopal Diocese of Washington, is being planned in coordination with Lexington Park United Methodist Church, Good Samaritan Lutheran Church, Lexington Park Baptist Church, Trinity Lutheran Church in Lexington Park, God’s House Church in Lexington Park and St. George’s Episcopal Church in Valley Lee.

“Members of the community impacted by the shooting today, and those in the region seeking to pray in solidarity, are invited to attend,” according to a release from the diocese.

The shooting comes just more than a month after the Valentine’s Day killings of 17 students and adults at a Florida high school by a teenager with an assault-style weapon, and five days before the March of Our Lives events, called for on March 24 by survivors of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School massacre.