BALTIMORE (WJZ) — The school resource officer credited with bringing a shooting at a Maryland high school to an end has been given the National Award of Valor.
Deputy First Class Blaine Gaskill confronted 17-year-old Austin Wyatt Rollins last month after he fatally shot 16-year-old Jaelynn Willey and injured 14-year-old Desmond Barnes at Great Mills High School.
After confronting the shooter, Gaskill and Rollins fired shots “almost simultaneously.” Investigators say Rollins shot himself in the head as Gaskill fired a shot that hit the gun that Rollins was holding.
Gaskill received the National Award of Valor from the National Association of School Resource Officers at the organization’s annual School Safety Conference.
Gaskill is certainly humble about what many would say is well-deserved recognition.
He says he’s no hero — he was just simply did what he was trained to do.
“I know everybody says ‘Hero, hero’ but I wouldn’t call myself a hero. Everybody at the school, teachers and staff, they are all the heroes in my book,” Gaskill said.
Hogan doled out high kudos Thursday as he presented an official governor’s citation to Gaskill at the Maryland State School Safety Summit.
“It truly is an honor to be here to honor to somebody that did everything right,” Gov. Larry Hogan said.
The honor was given in a room full of his peers at the event where the deputy also spoke.
“Nobody ever wants it to happen, but unfortunately it did, so I’m glad I was there at the time,” he said.
Hogan says it was Gaskill that made the difference that somber March day.
“He really did his job. Lord knows what would have happened if he wasn’t there to help end the situation quickly,” Hogan said.
Gaskill is a six-year veteran with SWAT team training. It is his first year as SRO at the school.