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St. Louis school shooting suspect had nearly a dozen 30-round magazines: Police

(ST. LOUIS) — A 16-year-old girl and a 61-year-old woman were killed by a gunman in a shooting at Central Visual and Performing Arts High School in St. Louis, Missouri, on Monday morning, according to authorities.

Seven other victims, all 15 or 16 years old, were hospitalized with injuries including gunshot wounds, police said. All were currently listed in stable condition, according to police.

The suspect also died, according to the St. Louis Public School District and St. Louis police.

Police identified the suspect as 19-year-old Orlando Harris, who graduated from the high school last year.

Police said Harris has no prior criminal history and they’re working to establish a motive, saying Monday there are “suspicions that there may be some mental illness that he was experiencing.”

St. Louis Police Commissioner Michael Sack said, “This could have been much worse — the individual had almost a dozen 30-round, high-capacity magazines on him. So that’s a whole lot of victims there.”

The shooting was reported at about 9:10 a.m. local time, police said. As students fled the building, they reported that a gunman was armed with a long gun, police said.

Authorities did not say how the gunman entered the building but police stressed that the school’s doors were locked.

Seven security guards were in the school, according to St. Louis Schools Superintendent Kelvin Adams. Officials said security staff identified the suspect’s efforts to enter the school and immediately notified other staff.

“It’s very easy to get guns,” Sack said. “I’ve said it before — the gun laws in Missouri [are] very broad … they can carry them openly down any street, and there’s really nothing we can do.”

St. Louis Mayor Tishaura Jones said she had visited students when the school year started.

“They were bright eyed, bushy-tailed. We laughed, we sang, we danced. And now to be here for such a devastating and traumatic situation breaks my heart,” she said. “I’m heartbroken for these families who send their children to our schools hoping that they will be safe. Our children shouldn’t have to experience this.”

The mayor added, “I’m sure that everyone involved is going to have to deal with the trauma that will reverberate across our community.”

When asked about the shooting, White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said, “We need additional action to stop the scourge of gun violence.”

“Every day that the Senate fails to send assault weapons ban to the president’s desk, or waits to take … other commonsense actions, is a day too late for our families and communities impacted by gun violence,” she told reporters.

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