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Police Left Officer’s Funeral To Stop St. Louis School Shooter; Killer Had Note On Him With Motive

St. Louis, MO – The 19-year-old gunman who killed two people inside a St. Louis school and wounded at least seven more was carrying 600 rounds of ammunition and left behind a handwritten manifesto, according to police.

Central Visual and Performing Arts (CVPA) High School sophomore Alexandria Bell, 15, and physical education teacher Jean Kuczka, 61, were both murdered in the Oct. 24 attack, KTLA reported.

Seven more 15- and 16-year-old students were injured.

Four of those seven victims were shot or grazed by gunfire, two suffered bruising, and one suffered a broken ankle after jumping out of the three-story building to get to safety, St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department (SLMPD) Interim Chief Mike Sack told reporters on Tuesday.

They have all been listed in stable condition.

St. Louis Public Schools (SLPS) Director of Safety and Security DeAndre Davis said the 19-year-old black male gunman did not use a checkpoint to enter the school building, KTLA reported.

They have not specified how he got into the school, but noted that the doors to the building were all locked, according to CNN.

Chief Sack said the shooter did not make any attempt to conceal his rifle as he forced his way into the building, KABC reported.

“When he entered, it was out … there was no mystery about what was going to happen,” he said. “He had it out and entered in an aggressive, violent manner.”

Police were immediately notified and arrived at the scene within four minutes of the first 911 call, according to CNN.

“There was no sidewalk conference. There was no discussion,” Chief Sack said of the officers’ response. “There was no, ‘Hey, where are you going to?’ They just went right in.”

They located the suspect within eight minutes, and neutralized the threat after a two-minute shootout, Chief Sack said.

The gunman was transported to a local hospital, where he was pronounced dead, CNN reported.

As a matter of policy, The Police Tribune no longer publishes the names or photos of school shooters so as not to contribute to fame-motivated attacks.

Davis said there were unarmed security officers working at the high school when the gunman entered the building, KTLA reported.

“Officers were aware of what happened, the magnitude of what was happening,” Davis told reporters on Tuesday. “Our officers were there and directing responding officers directly where the shooter was. … They did exactly what they were supposed to do.”

“We had the seven personnel working in the building who did a wonderful job getting the alarm sounded quickly,” SLPS Communication Director George Sells added, according to CNN. “So that response, that fast response, could happen both from the police and also from our response teams who were among the first on the scene as well. So, that was just more well-done work by a lot of people.”

A group of officers who were attending a funeral for a fellow officer when the shooting erupted immediately rushed to the scene to assist in ending the gunman’s rampage, Chief Sack said, according to KABC.

A group of SWAT officers who were participating in a nearby training session were also able to quickly respond.

Officers who weren’t even on duty ended up racing to the scene, Chief Sack noted.

“Some were in T-shirts, but they had their [ballistic] vests on,” he said. “They did an outstanding job.”

Chief Sack said the shooter’s only weapon was an AR-15 rifle, KTLA reported.

He was also wearing a chest rig that held seven loaded magazines, and had eight more loaded magazines in a bag he was carrying, according to the chief.

“This doesn’t include the number of magazines that he left and dumped on the stairway in the corridors along the way,” he added, according to Breaking 911.

The gunman allegedly possessed more than 600 rounds of ammunition altogether, KTLA reported.

The suspect graduated from CVPA last year and had no prior criminal history, according to investigators.

Police located a handwritten note inside his vehicle in the wake of the mass shooting – a portion of which Chief Sack shared with reporters on Tuesday, KTLA reported.

“I don’t have any friends. I don’t have any family. I’ve never had a girlfriend. I’ve never had a social life,” the note read. “I’ve been an isolated loner my entire life. This was the perfect storm for a mass shooter.”

Chief Sack said the message provided a bit of insight regarding “some of what’s going on inside his mind,” KTLA reported.

“He feels isolated, he feels alone, quite possibly angry and resentful of others,” the chief explained. “So, a desire to lash out.”

Investigators also located a map of the school inside the gunman’s vehicle, as well as a list of other school shooters and the number of victims they each created, Breaking 911 reported.

CVPA math teacher David Williams said the sound of gunfire erupted just after 9 a.m. on Monday, CNN reported.

He and his students immediately kicked into “drill mode” and locked doors, shut off lights, and attempted to hide in the corners of their third-floor classroom, he said.

Moments later, someone banged on the locked door, shaking it.

“Someone was trying to open the door,” Williams told CNN.

He said he then heard the sound of emergency sirens in the distance, followed by three gunshots.

“You are all going to f—king die!” someone outside the classroom screamed.

Williams said a bullet tore through one of his classroom windows a short while later, followed by the sound of more gunfire, CNN reported.

That’s when a massive group of well-organized tactical teams arrived, leading to yet another round of gunfire, he said.

Williams and his students soon heard a female voice identifying herself as police, at which point they all ran through an emergency exit to safety.

Approximately 400 students are enrolled at CVPA, CNN reported.

Written by
Holly Matkin

Holly is a former probation and parole officer who is married to a sheriff’s deputy. She is a regular contributor to Signature Montana magazine, and has written feature articles for Distinctly Montana magazine.

View all articles
Written by Holly Matkin

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