School Shooting Survivors Plan Rally After Newsroom Shooting

Students at a southern Maryland high school where a fatal shooting occurred earlier this year are helping lead a gun-control rally in the wake of the slayings of five newspaper employees last month in Maryland.

The Capital Gazette reports that students from Great Mills High School in St. Mary's County are working with students across the state to plan the July 21 rally in Annapolis. Great Mills student Jaelynn Willey was fatally shot by a classmate in March.

"I don't want another shooting," Jaxon O'Mara, a Great Mills student, told the Capital. "I'm going to do every damn thing I can so no other community has to go through what my community went through." 

Police said 17-year-old Austin Wyatt Rollins had used a handgun legally owned by his father during the school shooting, ultimately killing himself. 

Four journalists and a sales assistant at the Capital Gazette were killed in the June 28 newsroom attack. The victims were Gerald Fischman, Rob Hiaasen, John McNamara, Rebecca Smith and Wendi Winters

Police said the accused shooter, 38-year-old Jarrod Ramos, had a "vendetta" against the newspaper after it published an article about his conviction in a criminal harassment case in 2011.

Capital reporter Selene San Felice, who survived the shooting, is scheduled to speak at the rally.

"We must do better. We must vote better. We must push for legislation so that this doesn't feel normal," San Felice wrote in an article.

Great Mills students said they want to maintain pressure on Gov. Larry Hogan and state legislators. Some students said they want to see parents punished for failing to lock up their guns, among other issues.

Just days after the shooting at their school, students and alumni of Great Mills participated in the March for Our Lives in honor of Willey.

"We need to be the last group this ever happens to, and we're all just very tight, and we're family, and as you can see in the chants, we are Great Mills," Heidi Ransford, a recent graduate, said at the march.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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