Funeral Held for 16-Year-Old Girl Fatally Shot at Great Mills High School

Jaelynn Willey, 16, was a role model to her brothers and sisters, her family said, and helped to take care of them every day

The teenage girl who was shot in the hallway of her Maryland high school was laid to rest Friday.

Jaelynn Rose Willey was remembered by family members, friends and people who went to pay their respects. 

Willey's large family was joined at the service by Gov. Larry Hogan and the high schooler's classmates. 

The 16-year-old was surrounded by her family when she died shortly after 11:30 p.m. March 22, hours after her parents announced their decision to remove her from life support. 

Willey had been hospitalized since she was shot March 20 in the hallway of Great Mills High School in St. Mary's County. Police said gunman Austin Rollins, 17, and Willey had a previous relationship.

"My daughter was hurt by a boy who shot her in the head... and took everything from our lives," Willey's mother, Melissa Willey, said at a news conference last week.

Willey, a dedicated student, beach lover and member of the swim team, was the second of nine siblings. She was a role model to her brothers and sisters, her family said, and helped take care of them every day.

"Jaelynn is an amazing young lady whose peaceful presence and love of her fellow students and family is known throughout her Maryland-based school," her family said in a statement on a Youcaring Fundraiser page set up to help pay her medical bills.

"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," the family’s statement said. "Please keep Jaelynn and our family in your prayers."

Willey was shot about five minutes before the first period bell was set to ring. Another student, a 14-year-old boy, was shot in the leg. He was later released from the hospital.

Rollins fatally shot himself as a school resource officer shot him in the hand, police said.

The attack was the 12th school shooting that has ended in injury or death this year, according to Everytown For Gun Safety research.

Willey's death came one day before thousands of young people rallied in the streets of Washington, D.C., to demand stronger gun control laws. "March for Our Lives" was organized by the teen survivors of a deadly school shooting in Parkland, Florida.

Contact Us