ST. LOUIS, Missouri – On Tuesday, police in St. Louis shed more light on the school shooting that took the lives of two and ended in the death of the 19-year-old gunman, who was an ex-student at the school.
Police say the tragedy had the potential to be even worse, as they say, that Orlando Harris, 19, who graduated last year from Central Visual & Performing Arts High School, was armed with an AR-15 style semi-automatic rifle and was carrying over 600 rounds of ammunition.
Harris was killed by police officers who responded swiftly and engaged him almost immediately.
St Louis police chief Mike Sack said Harris had multiple magazines of ammunition strapped to his chest and in a bag that he was carrying. He also staged additional magazines in hallways and stairwells prior to the shooting.
“The suspect, in addition to the rifle, brought in a large quantity of ammunition,” St. Louis Police chief Michael Sack said in a Tuesday press conference. “He had seven magazines of ammunition on a chest rig he wore. He also had an additional eight magazines of ammunition in a field bag he carried.”
“This could have been a horrific scene,” Sack said. “It was not, by the grace of God.”
According to police, armed officers responded within four minutes to the report of an “active shooter” at the school and killed Harris in an exchange of gunfire.
Sack also said a handwritten document had been found in Harris’s car in which he expressed a desire to “conduct the school shooting.”
“I don’t have any friends. I don’t have any family,” he quoted the document as saying. “I’ve never had a girlfriend. I’ve never had a social life. I’ve been an isolated loner my entire life.
“This was the perfect storm for a mass shooter,” it said.
A 61-year-old physical education teacher and a 16-year-old student were killed in the attack and seven other people were injured.