Howard High School student Steven Bassler, 15, was the victim of an apparent murder-suicide Tuesday at his home in Columbia, Howard County Police said.
“The death of any member of our school community is a loss, and an unexpected death is especially difficult to understand or accept,” Howard High Principal Nick Novak wrote in an email to the school community Tuesday evening. “Feelings of anger, hurt, guilt, and sadness are natural.”
Novak said student services staff and the district’s Crisis Intervention Team are on hand to assist students in processing the news.
Howard County Police responded to the 5200 block of Five Fingers Way in Columbia at about 1 p.m. Tuesday and found Steven Bassler and his brother, Michael Bassler, 25, suffering from gunshot wounds. Police said they believe Michael Bassler shot and killed Steven before shooting himself.
Both were pronounced dead at the scene, police spokesperson Sherry Llewellyn said.
Police said “there are no indications that anyone else was involved,” and that investigators do not know a motive and are still determining who owned the firearm used in the shootings.
“It is unlikely that there will be any additional information to release in this case,” Llewellyn said in an email Wednesday morning.
Michael Bassler also attended Howard High and graduated in 2015, according to Brian Bassett, Howard County Public School System spokesperson.
If you or someone you know are struggling with suicidal thoughts, you can call the U.S. National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-TALK (8255) any time of day or night, or chat online. Crisis Text Line also provides free, 24/7, confidential support via text message to people in crisis when they dial 741741.