The 19-year-old gunman who killed two people at a St. Louis high school Monday was armed with an AR-15 style rifle and over 600 rounds of ammunition, and left behind a note referencing mass shootings, police said.
St. Louis Police on Tuesday showed an image of the rifle used by Orlando Harris, who died after exchanging fire with authorities.
“He had seven magazines of ammunition on a chest rig that he wore, he also had an additional eight magazines of ammunition in a field bag that he had carried,” St. Louis Police Chief Mike Sack told reporters. “This doesn’t include the number of magazines that he left and dumped on the stairway in the corridors along the way.”
Sack did not clarify how the 19-year-old shooter got access to the weapon, but stressed the importance of checking in with individuals who are in distress.
“If you’re aware of an individual who appears to be suffering from some kind of mental illness or distress, and they begin speaking about purchasing firearms or causing harm to others, we encourage you to reach out to somebody and report that so that we can get help to that individual,” he said.
Harris also left a handwritten note in the car he drove to the school, according to police.
Sack read part of the note during the news conference, in which Harris described himself as a loner and made reference to mass shootings.
“So, in reading this, we could see some of what’s going on inside his mind,” said Sack. “He feels isolated, he feels alone, quite possibly angry and resentful of others who have what appeared to him to be healthy relationships and so desired to lash out.”
Harris entered Central Visual Performing Arts High School Monday morning at around 9 a.m. with what police categorized as a long gun at the time.
After a gunfight with authorities minutes later, the gunman was taken into custody and later pronounced dead, a St. Louis police official told reporters.
Jean Kuczka, a 61-year-old health teacher, and Alexzandria Bell, a 15-year-old student, were killed in the shooting, according to Saint Louis Public Schools.
Sack wasn’t able to provide any update on the multiple other victims injured in the shooting, saying that he’s not aware of any of them being released from the hospital since they were admitted. They were all 15 and 16-year-olds and sustained injuries ranging from gunshot wounds to a fractured ankle and facial abrasions, he said Monday.