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Missouri school gunman leaves note

By AI HEIPING in New York | China Daily Global | Updated: 2022-10-26 10:12

A view shows vehicles of the St. Louis Fire Department following a shooting at a high school, in St. Louis, United States, October 24, 2022, in this still image. [Photo/Agencies]

The guman who killed a teacher and a 15-year-old girl and wounded seven others at his former high school in St. Louis, Missouri, used an AR-15 rifle, had more than 600 rounds of ammunition and left a note that gave his explanation for the shooting.

"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. I've been an isolated loner my entire life," according to some of the passages in the handwritten note by19-year-old Orlando Harris, Police Commissioner Michael Sack said at a news conference Tuesday. Investigators found the note in the car Harris drove to the school. He died at a hospital after a gun battle with officers Monday.

"This was the perfect storm for a mass shooter," Sack said. Given the gunman's extensive arsenal, the tragedy could have been "much worse," he said.

Tenth-grader Alexzandria Bell and 61-year-old physical education teacher Jean Kuczka died and seven students were wounded.

Harris graduated from Central Visual and Performing Arts High School last year. He returned to the school with an AR-15-style rifle, more than 600 rounds of ammunition and more than a dozen high-capacity magazines, according to Sack. He said Harris had ammunition strapped to his chest and in a bag, and that additional magazines were found dumped in stairwells.

Students barricaded doors, huddled in classroom corners, jumped from windows and ran out of the building. One girl said she was eye-to-eye with the shooter before his gun apparently jammed and she was able to run out. Several people inside the school said they heard Harris warn, "You are all going to die!", according to The Associated Press.

Authorities said locked doors and a quick law enforcement response – including by off-duty officers – prevented more deaths.

But Harris didn't enter a checkpoint where security guards were stationed, said DeAndre Davis, director of safety and security for St. Louis Public Schools. Davis also said the security guards stationed in the district's schools aren't armed, but mobile officers who respond to calls at schools are.

"For some people that would cause a stir of some sort," Davis said Tuesday. "For us, we thought it's best for our officers, for the normalcy of school for kids, to not have officers armed in the school."

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