St. Louis school shooter was armed with an AR-15-style rifle and more than 600 rounds of ammunition, authorities say

The 19-year-old gunman who killed two people at a St. Louis high school On Monday he was armed with an AR-15-style rifle and more than 600 rounds of ammunition, and he left a note referencing mass shootings, police said.

St. Louis police on Tuesday showed an image of the rifle used by Orlando Harris, who died after exchanging gunfire with authorities.

“He had seven ammunition magazines in a chest rig that he was carrying, he also had eight additional ammunition magazines in a field bag that he had been carrying,” St. Louis Police Chief Mike Sack told reporters. “This does not include the number of magazines he left and tossed on the hallway stairs along the way.”

Sack said the shooting could have been worse if officers hadn’t gotten to the school as quickly as they did.

“This could have been a horrible scene,” he said. “It wasn’t by the grace of God and that the officers were as close as they were and responded the way they did.”

Sack did not clarify how the shooter gained access to the gun, but he stressed the importance of checking with people who are in danger.

“If you know of a person who appears to be suffering from any type of mental illness or distress, and begins to talk about buying firearms or causing harm to others, we encourage you to contact someone and let them know so we can help that individual.” , said.

Harris also left a handwritten note in the car she was driving to school, according to police.

Sack read part of the story during the news conference, in which Harris described himself as a loner and made reference to mass shootings.

“So by reading this, we were able to see some of what’s going on inside his mind,” Sack said. “He feels isolated, he feels lonely, quite possibly angry and resentful of others who have what seemed to him to be healthy relationships and what he wanted to lash out at.”

People gather outside after a shooting at Central Visual and Performing Arts High School in St. Louis on Monday. Jordan Opp/St. Louis Post-Dispatch via AP
Marie Crane, center, holds a candle during a vigil for the victims of a shooting at Central Visual & Performing Arts High School in St. Louis on Monday, Oct. 24, 2022.
A vigil for the victims of a shooting at Central Visual and Performing Arts High School in St. Louis on Monday. David Carson/St. Louis Post-Dispatch via AP

Harris entered Central Visual Performing Arts High School Monday morning around 9 a.m. with what police classified as a long gun at the time.

After a shootout with authorities minutes later, the gunman was taken into custody and later pronounced dead, a St. Louis police officer told reporters.

Jean Kuczka, a 61-year-old health professor, and Alexzandria Bell, a 15-year-old student, were killed in the shooting, according to authorities.

Kuczka was a mother of five, grandmother of seven and a cyclist who participated in an annual charity event to raise money for juvenile diabetes, which her son has, according to her profile on the website. high school website.

She began working for St. Louis Public Schools in 2002 at Carr Lane Visual Performing Arts Middle School before transferring to high school in 2008 to teach health, personal finance, and physical education.

Andre Bell, Alexzandria’s adoptive father who lives in Los Angeles, said losing her was “a nightmare.” KSDK, NBC Affiliate informed.

The 15-year-old sophomore had an outgoing personality and was a member of her high school’s junior varsity dance team, Bell told the news station.

“She was joyful, wonderful, and just a great person,” he told KSDK. “She was the girl I loved to see and I loved to hear from her. No matter how I felt, I could always talk to her and it was fine. That was my baby.”

Sack was unable to provide any updates on the other multiple victims injured in the shooting, saying he is not aware of any of them having been released from the hospital since being admitted. All were 15 and 16 years old and suffered injuries ranging from gunshot wounds to a broken ankle and facial abrasions, he said Monday.

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