Officer honored for stopping school shooting - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Officer honored for stopping school shooting

Blaine Gaskill, the Maryland school resource officer who helped end a shooting at a high school last month, was honored Thursday. (Source: WJLA/CNN) Blaine Gaskill, the Maryland school resource officer who helped end a shooting at a high school last month, was honored Thursday. (Source: WJLA/CNN)

GREAT MILLS, MD (WJLA/CNN) – For Sheriff’s Deputy Blaine Gaskill, the honors keep coming.

The Maryland school resource officer helped end a shooting at Great Mills High School last month. He learned Thursday that he was chosen for the National School Resource Officer Medal of Valor.

He accepted the honor from Gov. Larry Hogan.

It was Gaskill who ran to the sound of gunfire in the halls of Great Mills High School last month and encountered shooter Austin Rollins, who was pointing a gun to his head.

Gaskill ordered Rollins to drop his gun. He tried to calm the student.

Gaskill ultimately fired his weapon, striking Rollins’ gun just as the teen pulled his own trigger, killing himself.

At a statewide summit on school safety Thursday, Gaskill deflected credit.

"I know everybody says, 'Hero, hero.' But I wouldn't call myself a hero," Gaskill said. "Everybody at the school ... teachers and staff and all them, they're all the heroes in my book."

In his first extensive public comments about the incident that launched him to national news, Gaskill said he had little time to think when the moment came to react.

"My training kicked in and I did what I had to do, I guess," Gaskill said. "Nobody ever wants it to happen, but unfortunately it did, so I'm glad I was there at the time."

Gaskill said he knows his actions fueled a debate about guns and school safety and how to react.

He said Thursday that he’s a believer in the school resource officer.

"We need SROs in there to help them out as best we can," Gaskill said.

This is Gaskill’s first year as a school resource officer. He's been with the St. Mary’s County Sheriff's Office for nine years.

Copyright 2018 WJLA via CNN. All rights reserved.

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