ELLICOTT CITY, Md. - News of the shooting in College Park had already raised an alarm at Centennial High School in Ellicott City.
"As a teacher, a high school teacher, we have so many of our kids that go to the University of Maryland, and the first thing you think is, 'Oh, God... not one of our kids,’” said Student Advisor Rus VanWestervelt, “You don't want it to be anyone's children, but the first thing you think is, 'Not anyone we know.'"
But teachers would soon learn that a former student, Stephen Rane, had lost his life in the shooting.
A gifted writer, Rane’s 12th grade English teacher, Mag Polek, recalled his humor and passion.
"He came to Centennial from Indiana. He started with us his junior year here and in his senior year, he distinguished himself to the point in English where he received our English award, and we spoke at our graduation awards ceremony and gave him this award from our English Department. Just a really fine, fine young man."
Rane died after Dayvon Green set a number of fires surrounding their house and opened fire on his roommates after they offered to help put them out.
His former teachers believe his effort to help the student suffering from mental health issues would be consistent with his character.
"It could be possible that Stephen did know that this individual was struggling with mental illness and he could have been part of helping him through that,” said VanWestervelt, “I'm not sure. I've heard some stories already that seem to indicate that Stephen was trying to help him up until the very last moments. I don't know."
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