St. Louis school shooter was flagged on an FBI background check, but was still able to legally purchase a gun, police said.




CNN

On Monday St. The gunman who killed two people and injured several others in a school shooting in Louis, Missouri, was identified through an FBI background check, but was able to purchase the AR-15-style rifle he used in the attack. a private seller, police said.

When 19-year-old Orlando Harris tried to buy a gun from a licensed dealer, a background check blocked the sale, St. Louis Metropolitan Police Sgt. Charles Wall said Thursday. But Harris bought the firearm from a licensed dealer in 2020 when he could legally buy the rifle from a private individual, Wall said.

Harris’ family was concerned about his mental health, so when his mother found the rifle in their home, the family contacted police, authorities said.

Missouri does not have a so-called “red flag law” that would allow police to confiscate a person’s gun if they are at risk of harm to themselves or others. So St. Louis police arranged for Harris’ rifle to be given to “a third party known to the family” so it could be stored outside the home, police said in a statement to CNN affiliate KMOV.

However, somehow, when the teenager had to enter the Visual and Performing Arts Central High School on Monday morning, he had the rifle in his hands again.

Armed with a high-powered firearm and an arsenal of more than 600 rounds of ammunition and more than a dozen high-capacity magazines, the gunman fired into the halls of the school, which he had just finished last year.

As students and teachers blocked doors and scrambled to barricade and take cover, he continued his rampage, shooting and wounding 15-year-old talented student Alexandria Bell and beloved teacher Jean Kuczka, 61, and wounding several others.

Within minutes, officers arrived at the school and quickly engaged the shooter in a shooting at Michael Sack St. According to Police Commissioner Louis. Harris was later pronounced dead at a local hospital.

Police are working to determine how the shooter regained possession of the rifle, Sack said Wednesday.

School officials entered the bullet-riddled building on Tuesday, but it could be weeks or months before students at the Visual and Performing Arts Center and the Collegiate School of Medicine and Biosciences, which share a campus, St. Louis Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Kelvin Adams said Tuesday.

“Obviously with the things that have happened in our building, we have to make sure that the building is ready for the students and the staff and the community as well,” Adams said. He stated that counseling services are available for students and staff.

St. The attack at Louis High School is at least the 67th shooting on American school grounds this year, marking another devastating moment in the growing reality of gun violence against students and educators.

Witnesses to the shooting describe a terrifying scene in which the school learned there was an active shooter in the building through a coded message announced over the intercom.

As soon as history teacher Kristie Faulstich heard the announcement, she knew what to do.

“I immediately but calmly went to lock the door and turn off the lights. Then I turned my children around and told them all to go into the corner,” she said.

Teachers and law enforcement have applauded how the students acted during the attack.

“We’ve had teenagers and athletes — they don’t always listen — but they sure did on Monday,” Sack said Wednesday. “Their teachers did what they were told, the officers do what they were told, despite the fact that many of them were traumatized. You can see their faces, you can read them in their eyes.’

“I absolutely commend my students for their response,” Faulstich said. “They kept quiet even when they were hearing gunshots all around and I know they did it to keep each other safe.”

Several students escaped the building by jumping out of windows, students and teachers said.

There were seven security personnel at the school when the gunman arrived, but he did not enter the building through security checkpoints and instead forced his way in, according to DeAndre Davis, Saint Louis’ director of safety and security. Public Schools.

According to Sack, police arrived at the school within four minutes of the active shooter being reported, repeatedly crediting law enforcement’s quick response, locking doors and training to prevent further deaths.

“That this level of response is needed to stop a shooting like this because people have access to these weapons of war and can bring them into our schools can never be normal,” said St. Louis Board of Education President Matt Davis.

The school district has been working to add gun safety to the curriculum, Superintendent Adams said at a news conference Tuesday.

“The gun safety initiative, frankly, was a plan to try to address the issues that are happening outside of our school district, outside of our school buildings, in terms of the number of students being shot in the city. Of St. Louis, and that he’s dying, frankly, outside of the school environment. because of the incidents that happened,” said Adams.

“I never thought I’d be standing here today having an interview about a staff (member) and a student” being shot, Adams said, pausing to maintain his composure as his voice began to break.