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. Louis, Missouri, high school on Monday morning, killing two and wounding several others, according to the law.
The suspect, who died during the exchange of gunfire at Central Visual and Performing Arts High School, was identified by police as Orlando Harris, who graduated from the high school last year.
Harris, who has no criminal history, left a note in his car about his desire to “be a school killer,” St. Louis Police Chief Michael Sack said in a news release Tuesday.
Sack said Harris wrote: “I have no friends, I have no family, I have never had a girlfriend, I have never had a relationship.” Sack said Harris called himself a “loner,” which was the “perfect storm for mass murder.”
Authorities said Monday there is “suspicion that he may have had some sort of mental illness.”
The two people killed were 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 15 or 16 years old, were injured and hospitalized. All are listed in stable condition, according to St.
Sack said Harris had seven magazines of ammunition on the chest rig and eight magazines of ammunition in a bag.
“This does not include the newspaper he left on the stairs in the hallway,” he added.
The shooting was reported at 9:10 a.m. local time, police said.
Authorities did not say how the gunman entered the building but police said the school’s doors were locked. On Tuesday, an employee said that he did not enter the school through the checkpoint.
Seven security guards are at the school, according to St. Louis Schools Superintendent Kelvin Adams. Officials said security personnel identified the suspect’s efforts to enter the school and immediately notified other staff.
“This could have been a terrible situation — it wasn’t, by the grace of God,” Sack said Tuesday.
“It’s very easy to get a gun,” Sack said at a news conference Monday. “I’ve said it before — gun laws in Missouri [are] So wide … they can take them open in any way, and there’s really nothing we can do. “
The mayor of St. Louis Tishaura Jones said he visited the students at the beginning of the school year.
He said “They have a bright face, bushy-tailed. We laugh, we sing, we dance. And now to be here for a terrible situation and hurt me broken heart,” he said. “I feel sorry for these families who send their children to our schools hoping they will be safe. Our children should not have to experience this.”
White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre addressed the shooting at Monday’s press briefing, saying, “We need more action to prevent gun violence. “
“Every day that the Senate does not send firearms to the president’s desk, or wait to take … other action, is a day too late for our families and communities affected by dangerous,” he told reporters.
At Tuesday’s press conference, Sack encouraged anyone to notify police if they “know of anyone who appears to be suffering from illness or depression,” and is talking about buy guns or cause damage.
ABC News’ Ben Gittleson, Darren Reynolds, Matt Foster and Teddy Grant contributed to this report.