A 16-year-old Maryland girl is dead, her mother injured and their alleged 15-year-old attacker is in critical condition from an apparent suicide attempt following an early New Year’s Day shooting in the girl’s Maryland home, PEOPLE confirms.
Mom Suzanne Zaremba, 52, of Ellicott City, heard “a scuffle” in her daughter’s bedroom around 2 a.m. Jan. 1 and went to investigate, according to a Howard County police statement.
As she entered the room, the male suspect allegedly fired a shot at her, and then at Zaremba’s daughter Charlotte, 16, before using the gun to shoot himself in the head, police said.
The suspect, who was not identified by police because of his age, was taken from the girl’s bedroom to the University of Maryland Medical Center’s Shock Trauma Center, where he remains in critical condition, police said.
“It is unclear if he had any connection to the victims,” according to the statement.
Police did not release a motive.
Suzanne Zaremba was treated for a non-life threatening injury and released.
Nick Novak, principal at Howard High School, identified Charlotte as a 10th grader at the school and said in a letter to the school’s families that Charlotte’s classmates were alerted to the “sad news” in first-period classrooms today, reports Ellicott City Patch.
“During guided discussions as needed, our teachers will help students talk about their feelings and reactions and identifying coping resources at school and in the community,” Novak wrote.
“She was just really sweet, and a good friend,” Isabella Kushner, a friend of the victim, told WJZ.
Kushner added, “The entire community of Howard County is just trying to support everybody, and her family.”
Family friend Elisa Kamens, who told Fox45 that she saw Charlotte over the Christmas holiday, said, “It’s just horrific.”