A former student opened fire in a St. Louis high school Monday morning, killing two and injuring several other students, before being shot and killed by police.
According to The Christian Post, a female student and a health and physical education teacher were killed in the shooting at Central Visual and Performing Arts High School. The suspect, now identified as 19-year-old Orlando Harris, later died at a local hospital after exchanging fire with police.
St. Louis Mayor Tishaura O. Jones called the shooting "a devastating and traumatic situation."
"I'm heartbroken for these families who send their children to our schools hoping they will be safe," Jones said at a press conference on Monday.
"Our children shouldn't have to experience this; they shouldn't have to go through active shooter drills in case something happens. And unfortunately, that happened today."
Authorities announced on Tuesday that Harris had broken into the school with an AR-15 rifle and about 600 rounds of ammunition Monday morning. According to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, police also confirmed that the suspect wrote his motive for the shooting in a notebook he left in his car.
"I don't have any friends. I don't have any family. I've never had a girlfriend. I've never had a social life. I've been an isolated loner my entire life," the suspect, who graduated from the school last year, wrote.
St. Louis Interim Police Chief Michael Sack, who read the passage to reporters on Tuesday, said that Harris' note offers a glimpse into his internal distress and noted that "this was the perfect storm for a mass shooter."
"He feels isolated; he feels alone," Sack said. "Quite possibly angry and resentful of others who have, it appeared to him, to have healthy relationships, so a desire to lash out."
Sack encouraged people to speak up if they see someone suffering from mental illness or distress is considering buying firearms and is willing to cause harm.
Amongst those killed Monday were sophomore Alexandria Bell, 16, and 61-year-old Jean Kuczka, a mother of five who taught health and physical education. Four other students were shot, two more suffered abrasions and one girl fractured her ankle.
Photo courtesy: ©iStock/Getty Images Plus/carlballou
Milton Quintanilla is a freelance writer. He is also the co-hosts of the For Your Soul podcast, which seeks to equip the church with biblical truth and sound doctrine. Visit his blog Blessed Are The Forgiven.