The school resource officer who engaged with an active shooter at a Maryland high school on Tuesday has been recognized for his “exemplary judgment” before.
Blaine Gaskill, a St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office deputy with SWAT training who had been positioned at Great Mills High School since the beginning of the school year, immediately responded after being alerted of the shooting, officials said.
Deputy Blaine Gaskill did everything he was trained to do during an active shooter situation on Tuesday, Sheriff Tim Cameron said. (St. Mary County Sheriff’s Office)
“Gaskill pursued the shooter, engaged the shooter, fired a round at the shooter,” Sheriff Tim Cameron said Tuesday, adding the deputy did everything he was supposed to do during an active shooter situation.
Gaskill contained the situation within one minute of the initial shot being fired, officials said.
The confrontation with gunman Austin Wyatt Rollins wasn’t t the first time he has come face-to-face with a firearm however.
In July 2016, Gaskill was responding to a complaint at a Great Mills home when a man — identified as Pekka Robert Heinonen, 59 — pointed a gun at him, according to Maryland newspaper The Enterprise.
Heinonen was “standing on the porch, pointing a gun at me,” Gaskill wrote in a probable cause statement. “I ordered the defendant to drop the gun, at which point … his wife walked between us. The defendant refused to comply with my demands, … [until his wife] convinced him to drop the gun.”
Gaskill has been with the St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office for six years, after having previously served four years as a correctional officer.