Sports

Former Loris, Clemson football player's sister avoided shooting at Great Mills High

Loris' Jonathan Willard played college football at Clemson.
Loris' Jonathan Willard played college football at Clemson. The Associated Press

The sister of former Loris High and Clemson University football player Jonathan Willard picked a good day to stay home from school.

Willard posted on his Instagram page that his sister, who attends Great Mills High School in Maryland, stayed home Tuesday because “something did not feel right,” and she avoided being at the school during a shooting.

A 17-year-old male student shot a 16-year-old female student, and a second 14-year-old male student was also shot Tuesday morning before a school resource officer engaged the shooter and stopped the threat, according to media reports. The incident began in a school hallway at 7:55 a.m., just before classes started, and the shooter, Austin Wyatt Rollins, 17, was killed.

Willard, who is a pit crew member of the Chip Ganassi Racing team, posted on Instagram:

“One of my worst fears came true today. Hearing that my little sister’s school was under attack really scared me just knowing that there was nothing that I could do being that I was 5-6 hours away. [Then] God reminded me that he was in charge and that he is always looking after us. Talked to my sister and she said that she was up and ready to go to school this morning but something did not feel right so she didn’t go. Crazy right, but this is just a crazy situation.”

Willard played a hero himself in 2013 when he was an NFL rookie headed from South Carolina to the Tennessee Titans training camp in Nashville. He alerted a woman to pull over on an interstate because her vehicle was on fire and helped the woman, her three children and a dog exit the vehicle before it exploded.

Willard added on Instagram his dismay regarding the amount of shootings at schools – 17 now this year – across the country.

“Prayers are up for the students that was actually there and to the parents of the victims,” he wrote. “It’s crazy that the place that I thought was the safest is now become something that I can’t really imagine. I remember when we had hurricanes we would go to the school because it was the safest place. Now you can’t even send your kids to school because that might be their last time on earth.”

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