St. Louis School Shooter’s Family Tried To Remove His Gun

Officials claimed on Wednesday that the 19-year-old suspect who is accused of opening fire at a high school in St. Louis, Missouri, had gotten his hands on the weapon used in the shooting after his family had recently taken it out of the house.

The shooting at Central Visual and Performing Arts High School on Monday morning claimed the lives of two people: a student and a teacher. And a number of others suffered injuries.

According to St. Louis Police Commissioner Michael Sack, Orlando Harris, the suspect, died in a shootout after “forcing entry” into the facility with an AR-15-style rifle and more than 600 rounds of ammunition.

After a gun was found in the home, Sack informed reporters at a news conference on Wednesday that the family had contacted the police before.

St. Louis Sgt. Charles Wall provided an update on Wednesday night, saying that on October 15, police responded to a domestic incident at Harris’ home because the “suspect’s mother had spotted a pistol in the home and wanted it removed.”

Harris was found to be legally in possession of the firearm, and Wall stated that a “third party known to the family” removed the firearm from the residence.

Wall said, “We can confirm that the firearm engaged in this event is the firearm used in the shooting on Monday.” It’s unclear when or how the suspect got his hands on the gun after the shooting, but it was the same gun.

Harris, a recent high school graduate, had been seen by mental health doctors and had been committed on multiple times, Sack said on Wednesday.

“they constantly tried to get him back on his medicine, back into treatment, whatever it is that he needed,” Sack said of Harris’ family.

Harris’s family appears to have been “completely cooperative” with authorities and to have “done everything they could have possibly done” to aid Harris. “But sometimes that’s not enough,” Sack said.

Wall also said, “despite their best efforts, this horrible tragedy occurred.”

Harris “felt alienated and alone,” and “there was a mismatch between him and what he felt was the school community,” as Sack put it.

It was the school that “always” had been the intended victim, he said.

On Tuesday, Sack stated that Harris had written about wanting to “do this school shooting” in a notebook he had left behind.
Harris reportedly wrote in his diary, as recounted by Sack: “I have no friends, no family, no girlfriend, no social life.”

Harris described himself as a “isolated loner” according to Sack, creating the “ideal storm for a mass shooter,” Harris stated.

Sack added that Harris’s family would occasionally search his room, but that they were completely unaware of the journal.

Sack claims it is now unclear when or where Harris purchased the firearm.

 

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