A 19-year-old former student was armed with an AR-15-style rifle and more than 600 rounds of ammunition when he opened fire on St. according to authorities.
The suspect, who also died during the exchange of gunfire at Central Visual and Performing Arts High School, was identified by the police as Orlando Harris, who graduated from high school last year.
Harris, who has no criminal history, left a handwritten document in his car talking about his desire to “carry out this school shooting,” St. Louis Police Commissioner Michael Sack said at a news conference Tuesday.
Sack said Harris wrote: “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.” Sack said Harris calls himself an “isolated loner,” which is the “perfect storm for a mass shooter.”
Authorities said Monday there was “suspicion that there was some mental illness he was suffering from.”
The two victims killed have been identified by the school district as 15-year-old student Alexandria Bell and 61-year-old physical education teacher Jean Kuczka.
Seven other victims, all aged 15 or 16, were injured and treated in hospital. All were listed in stable condition, according to St.
Sack said Harris had seven magazines of ammunition in a chest rig and had eight magazines of ammunition in a bag.
“This does not include the number of magazines he left tossed on the stairs in the corridor along the way,” he added.
The shooting was reported at about 9:10 am local time, said the police.
Authorities did not say how the gunman got into the building but police confirmed the school’s doors were locked. On Tuesday, an official said he did not enter the school through the checkpoint.
Seven security guards were at the school, according to St. Louis Schools Superintendent Kelvin Adams. Officials said security staff identified the suspect’s attempt to enter the school and immediately notified other staff.
“This could have been a scary scene — it wasn’t, by the grace of God,” Sack said Tuesday.
“It’s very easy to get a gun,” Sack said at a press conference Monday. “I’ve said it before — gun laws in Missouri [are] very wide … they can take them openly in any street, and there is nothing we can do.
St. Louis Mayor Tishaura Jones said she had visited the students when the school year started.
“It’s bright eyed, bushy-tailed. We laughed, we sang, we danced. And now here for such a terrible and traumatic situation breaks my heart,” she said. “I am heartbroken for these families who send their children to our school hoping that they will be safe. Our children should not have to go through this.”
White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre addressed the shooting at Monday’s press briefing, saying, “We need additional action to stop the scourge of gun violence.”
“Every day that the Senate fails to send an assault weapons ban to the president’s desk, or waits to take … other common sense action, is a day too late for our families and communities affected by gun violence,” he told reporters.
At a news conference Tuesday, Sack encouraged anyone to notify police if they are “aware of someone who appears to be suffering from mental illness or distress,” and talking about buying a gun or causing harm.
ABC News’ Ben Gittleson, Darren Reynolds, Matt Foster and Teddy Grant contributed to this report.