Officers say police responded swiftly to St Louis assault, but it surely stays unclear how gunman entered the highschool.
The gunman who killed a trainer and a 15-year-old woman in a lethal college capturing within the US metropolis of St Louis, Missouri, was closely armed and outfitted with lots of of rounds of ammunition, police say.
Police Commissioner Michael Sack mentioned on Tuesday that the gunman, 19-year-old former pupil Orlando Harris, had an AR-15-style, semi-automatic rifle and greater than 600 rounds of ammunition throughout Monday’s assault. Harris was killed in an alternate of fireplace with police.
“This might have been a lot worse,” Sack mentioned, noting that the attacker had entered the varsity in “an aggressive, violent method” that left “no thriller about what was going to occur”.
The assault at Central Visible and Performing Arts Excessive College was the newest college capturing to roil the USA, the place using high-powered rifles in such incidents has sparked debate over gun reform within the nation.
Seven college students, aged 15 and 16 years outdated, had been injured within the capturing, and all are mentioned to be in secure situation.
One of many college students was injured whereas leaping out of a three-storey window to flee the capturing whereas others erected barricades towards the doorways or huddled within the nook of their lecture rooms to keep away from the attacker.
One pupil described coming nose to nose with Harris however surviving as a result of his gun had jammed.
Bodily schooling trainer Jean Kuczka, 61, was killed after she moved herself between the gunman and her college students. “My mother beloved children,” her daughter Abby advised the St Louis Publish-Dispatch newspaper. “She beloved her college students. I do know her college students checked out her like she was their mother.”
Pupil Alexandria Bell, 15, who additionally was killed within the capturing, was described as “joyful, great and only a nice individual” by her father, Andre Bell.
“She was the woman I beloved to see and beloved to listen to from. Regardless of how I felt, I might all the time speak to her, and it was alright. That was my child,” he advised native information outlet KSDK-TV.
On Tuesday, Sack learn a be aware left behind by Harris, which described a lifetime of loneliness and isolation that the attacker mentioned had created the “excellent storm for a mass shooter”. A number of folks inside the varsity have mentioned that they heard Harris yell, “You’re all going to die!”
Sack advised reporters that Harris had ammunition strapped to his chest, extra in a bag and a few in magazines discovered dumped in stairwells.
The police commissioner didn’t say how Harris was in a position to enter the varsity, which was locked and guarded by seven safety guards.
The response of legislation enforcement to mass shootings at faculties has come below larger scrutiny following a lethal assault earlier this yr in Uvalde, Texas, the place it emerged that legislation enforcement officers had stood outdoors a classroom for greater than an hour earlier than confronting the shooter.
A timeline laid out by Sack on Tuesday would recommend that the response to the St Louis capturing was rather more immediate, with legislation enforcement alerted to the attacker at 9:11am native time, officers arriving on the scene 4 minutes later, and the gunman shot by 9:25am.
Raymond Parks, a dance trainer on the college who was threatened by the attacker however was left unscathed, mentioned that “you couldn’t have requested for higher” from the police response.