Crime and Safety

Deadly School Shooting Rocks St. Louis – Suspect Identified

The city of St. Louis was rocked Monday morning after a gunman entered a high school and killed one student and one teacher and left several students wounded.

Police have identified the alleged killer at the Central Visual and Performing Arts High School as 19-year-old Orlando Harris, according to KTVI-TV in St. Louis.

Harris, who graduated from the school last year, was carrying high-capacity magazines, police told the station.

The dead were a 16-year-old female student and a 61-year-old female teacher, according to KTVI.

The identity of the teenager has not been released, but family members of the teacher identified her to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch as Jean Kuczka, a mother of five who taught physical education and health.

The gunman also wounded six other students and one student fractured an ankle after jumping out of a window to avoid being shot, KTVI reported.

None of the injuries are considered life-threatening.

Once police got the first call about an “active shooter” at the school, they were on the scene within four minutes and entered the school immediately, KTVI reported.

St. Louis Police Chief Michael Sack said that there was an exchange of gunfire with Harris and he was killed.

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Investigations are still underway, looking into the how and why of Harris’ actions.

One student said that he heard Harris say that he was “tired of everybody,” the Post-Dispatch reported.

A math teacher said one of the windows of his classroom door was shot out and he heard someone say “You are all going to [expletive] die,” the Post-Dispatch reported.

Meanwhile, Sack announced that Harris’ gun jammed at one point, which gave potential victims time to escape and perhaps made the situation less deadly than it could have been.

“This could have been much worse,” Sack said, the Post-Dispatch reported.

However, Sack said that due to the high-capacity magazines that Harris did have, it could have been much worse.

“The individual had almost a dozen 30-round high-capacity magazines on him. That’s a whole lot of victims there,” Sack said, according to KTVI.

There have been no details about how many shots were fired in the school or how Harris entered.

Sack said that investigators had taken evidence from Harris’ car, KTVI reported.

“I’m not really sure what might have been there. I know there was some evidence that was taken out of the vehicle,” Sack said.

Law enforcement also searched Harris’ home, according to KTVI.

In a statement, St. Louis Mayor Tishaura Jones summed up the city’s anguish.

“It’s so unfair. I’m heartbroken for these families,” she said, according to the Post-Dispatch. “Our children shouldn’t have to experience this.”

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