A 19-year-old former student shot and killed a student and a 61-year-old health teacher at Central Visual and Performing Arts High School in south St Louis, Missouri, early Monday morning, The New York Times reports. Several others were injured.
The gunman was killed in a shootout with police, who engaged him less than 10 minutes after arriving on the scene, according to news reports. He was carrying a dozen high-capacity magazines, each of which could fire 30 rounds.
“This could have been much worse,” the Times quoted St Louis interim police commissioner, Lt Col Michael Sack, as saying. “That’s a whole lot of victims.”
Seven unarmed school resource officers were in the building at the time of the shooting. Colonel Sack did not immediately say how the gunman entered the building, which was locked. Nor did officials release the names of the victims, although some news outlets are reporting the names of a 16-year-old girl and the health teacher.
The gunman was identified as Orlando Harris, 19, a 2022 graduate of the school. One student told the St Louis Post-Dispatch that she heard Harris say he was “tired of” the school and the people in it, and police are investigating reports that he may have been suffering from mental health problems.
The magnet school, which requires students to complete an audition before admission, shares a campus with another magnet high school. St Louis Public Schools announced that classes would be canceled on Tuesday for the 380 students at Central Visual and Performing Arts High School and the 260 students at Collegiate School of Medicine and Bioscience High School.
“While on paper we might have nine victims … we have hundreds of others,” Reuters quoted Colonel Sack as saying. “Everyone who survived this is going to take home trauma.”