ST. LOUIS – Officials with St. Louis Public Schools will gather Tuesday afternoon to address the deadly shooting Monday at Central Visual and Performing Arts High School and the district’s response.
A 19-year-old gunman, Orlando Harris, killed two people Monday morning in a shooting at the south city school. Police later shot and killed Harris, who hurt several others in the incident.
Investigators say Harris entered the building with an AR-15 rifle and more than 600 rounds of ammunition. That included seven magazines of ammunition on a chest rig he wore and eight magazines of ammunition in a field bag he carried.
In a previous news conference Tuesday with St. Louis Police, officials noted the St. Louis Public Schools district has activated new resources for mental health since Monday and is also working on a long-term plan.
“We’re collaborating with our community partners, as well as the mayor’s office and U.S. Department of Education,” said Dr. Michael Brown, deputy superintendent of student support services for SLPS. “We’re working to come up with a next-steps, long-term plan.”
DeAndre Davis, Director of Safety and Security for St. Louis Public Schools, says Harris did not enter the school through a checkpoint. Gunfire followed that lead to the deaths of longtime teacher Jean Kuczka, 61, and student Alexandria Bell, 15. When police entered the school, officers exchanged gunfire with Harris and fatally shot him.
Harris was a graduate of CVPA and had no prior criminal history. While the exact motive has not yet been determined, police presented some documents Tuesday that may have hinted toward mental health struggles. That included a handwritten note that read, in part, “I’ve been an isolated loner my entire life. This was the perfect storm for a mass shooter.”
In the upcoming SLPS news conference, district officials are expected to provide updates on what to expect for the rest of the school week and what else is being done to help move forward from the tragedy.
This is a developing story. Check back for updates.
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