Shooting at St. Louis High School Leaves 3 Dead, Including Gunman

A shooting at a high school in St. Louis, Mo., left three dead—including the gunman—and multiple injured on Monday, Oct. 24, according to national news. NBC reports that shortly after 9 a.m. local time, a shooter entered Central Visual and Performing Arts High School armed with a long gun and almost a dozen high-capacity magazines.

The victims include 15-year-old student Alexandria Bell and 61-year-old teacher Jean Kuczka, according to CNN. The gunman, 19-year-old Orlando Harris, engaged in a gunfight with responding authorities, was taken into custody, and died at a nearby hospital, said St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department Interim Chief Michael Sack.

Sack said in a news conference that Harris was a 2021 graduate of the school and had no criminal record. He said that Harris entered the school in an “aggressive, violent manner” with almost a dozen 30-round magazines. “There was no mystery about what was going to happen,” said Sack.

Authorities are currently investigating a motive for the attack, but Sack said that “suspicions that there may be some mental illness that he is experiencing” might have been a factor.

Sack said that law enforcement received a call from the high school regarding an active shooter situation at 9:11 a.m. local time. He said that officers arrived on the scene four minutes later and located the shooter eight minutes after that, exchanging gunfire and taking him into custody.

Law-enforcement officials credit locked doors and the rapid police response with preventing a deadlier outcome. “This could have been much worse,” said Sack. “The individual had almost a dozen 30-round…high-capacity magazines on him. That’s a whole lot of victims there.”

CNN reports that victim Alexandria Bell was looking forward to her Sweet 16th birthday party, loved dancing and was a member of the junior varsity dance team. Jean Kuczka served as a health and physical education teacher and was planning to retire in the next few years, according to her daughter, Abigail Kuczka.

CNN reports that seven other students were wounded during the attack, with injuries ranging from gunshot wounds to grazes to a fractured ankle. Sack said that all were in stable condition.

About the Author

Matt Jones is senior editor of Spaces4Learning and Campus Security and Life Safety. He can be reached at MJones@1105media.com

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