Science

Police Say Relatives of St. Louis School Shooter Confiscated the Gun Used in the Shooting Earlier

Kin of the gunman who killed a student and teacher on Monday st louis school shooting The St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department confirmed Wednesday that he had long been concerned about his mental health, and that he worked with police to snatch a gun — the same gun used in the attack. Police said just nine days before the shooting, the suspect’s mother called the police home after she found the gun.

Police and the FBI are working to determine what prompted 19-year-old Orlando Harris to enter Central Visual and Performing Arts High School on Monday and begin the shooting. Louis Metropolitan Police Department Commissioner Michael Sack said at a news conference Wednesday that the massacre could have been far worse. was a gunman armed AR-15-style rifle and with an estimated 600 rounds of ammunition.

Fifteen-year-old Alexandria Bell and 61-year-old teacher Jean Cuzca were killed in the shootout. Four students suffered gunshot wounds or concussions, two had bruises and one had a broken ankle – apparently from jumping out of a three-story building. Bori said all is doing well, as is a police officer who was hurt by broken glass.

Police believe the gunman killed by retaliatory officers was the target. He did not say whether any of the victims were among them.

Sack said his mother was “heartbroken” by the shooting. Sack told a news conference that she and other relatives had long struggled with her mental health issues and had even committed her several times. They also kept track of his mail and often checked his room to make sure he had no weapons.

At one point – Sack can’t remember when – he got one.

“They knew he had acquired a shotgun,” said Sack. “They worked with our department to move the adult who could legally be possessed by one.”

At the time, Sack said it could be a gun used in the school shooting, but this has not been confirmed.

However, in a statement released Wednesday night after the news conference, St. Louis Police Sgt. Charles Wall confirmed that the gun used in the shooting was in fact the same gun previously found in the home by family members.

Wall said officers were sent to the suspect’s home on a domestic disturbance call on the evening of October 15 after his mother found the gun in the house and wished to remove it.

But responding officers determined that the suspect was “legally permitted to possess a firearm,” Wall wrote.

While officers did not confiscate the gun at the time, “a third party known to the family was contacted and took possession of the firearm so that it could no longer be stored in the home,” Wall wrote.

Investigators are unsure how the suspect got the gun back.

Wall wrote, “While it is not yet clear when and how the suspect came into possession of the firearm following this incident, we can confirm that the gun involved in the incident is the same gun used in Monday’s shooting.” ”

In a note left behind by him, the gunman lamented that he had no friends, no family, no girlfriend and lived a life of solitude. His note called it “the perfect storm for a mass shooter”.

“Mental health is a difficult thing,” Sack said. “It’s hard to tell when someone is going to be violent and take action, or if they’re just struggling, they’re depressed, and they could be harming themselves.”

The Central Visual and Performing Arts shares a building with another magnet school, the Collegiate School of Medicine and Bioscience, which was also evacuated as the shootings began. Central has 383, Collegiate has 336 students.

The building was locked on Monday morning and an unarmed security guard saw the gunman trying to enter. Bori declined to say how he tried to forcefully enter.

Officers, some of whom were off-duty, arrived four minutes after the 911 call. Amidst a flurry of children, teachers and staff fleeing, officers asked some of them where the gunman was. Eight minutes after arriving, officers barricaded the gunman in a classroom on the third floor. When he shot the officers, they shot back and broke the door, police said in a news release.

When he pointed his rifle at the police, they fired several shots, killing him.

Alexandria was found in a hallway and died on the spot. Kuzka was found in a classroom and died in a hospital.

According to a tally by Education Week, this year it was the 40th school shooting that resulted in injury or death – the most in any year since the shootings were tracked in 2018. The St. Louis shooting involved several deaths since a gunman. In May, 19 children and two teachers were murdered at Rob’s Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, according to Education Week data.

As is common after school shootings, the threat to other schools in the area has increased since Monday, said special agent Jay Greenberg in charge of the St. Louis FBI office. Greenberg said many schools across the region have responded by bringing in police officers for the time being.

“This is exacerbating the trauma that all of our parents and students are experiencing,” Greenberg said.

There was a glimmer of hope in the midst of the sorrow.

Fifteen-year-old Brian Collins, now home from the hospital, was saved when a bullet in his jaw missed an artery.

Stephanie Malia Cross, Brian’s godmother and aunt, told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that he was in health class when the gunman broke into the room, killing Cuzka. Although injured, Brian escaped by jumping through a second-floor window.

The bullet remained in his jaw. Cross said Bryan faces other uncertainties as well.

Cross said Brian moved to Central earlier this fall because of his love of the arts — he specializes in pencil charcoal drawings with fine details, Cross said. He was shot in both his hands and has suffered shrapnel from fingers to elbows.

“There’s no way to know the extent of the injury until follow-up appointments and the swelling subsides,” Kraus said.

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