The St. Louis School Shooter’s Rifle Was Taken From Him A Week Before The Attack

Police say they had the shooter’s AR-15-style weapon approximately a week before the deadly school shooting in St. Louis, but it’s unclear how the gun ended up back in the hands of the killer.

Student Alexandria Bell, 15, and teacher Jean Kuczka, 61, were killed and numerous others were injured when 19-year-old Orlando Harris opened fire at Central Visual and Performing Arts High School on Monday. Harris was shot by school police and taken to the hospital, where he eventually died.

The St. Louis School Shooter's Rifle Was Taken From Him A Week Before The Attack
The St. Louis School Shooter’s Rifle Was Taken From Him A Week Before The Attack

St. Louis Police Commissioner Michael Sack said during a press conference on Wednesday that the suspect’s family had called police to have a gun seized from him before the shooting. His mother “at the time wanted it out of the house,” he said.

A domestic incident was reported at the family’s house on October 15, just nine days before Monday’s shooting, according to a police statement released late on Wednesday night.

Officers “responded and confirmed at that time the subject was lawfully entitled to possess the firearm,” according to the statement obtained by CNN affiliate KMOV. A friend or relative of the family was contacted and asked to remove the gun from the residence.

On Wednesday evening, police confirmed that the rifle taken from the home earlier that day was the one used in the school massacre.

We don’t know how he got it after that,” Sack added. We are investigating this more at this time.

According to Sack, the serial number on the gun is being used by the ATF to track down its origin.

According to a press release from the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department, the gunman bought the weapon from a private vendor.

On October 8, the suspect tried to buy a gun from a licensed dealer in St. Charles, Missouri, but an FBI background check “successfully stopped this sale,” as reported by police.

A private seller had legally acquired the firearm used in the school massacre from a federally licensed dealer in December 2020, and the suspect had found this seller online, according to the press release. According to the prosecutor, “there is no current regulation which would have banned the private transaction between the original purchaser and the suspect in this situation.”

The teenager’s loved ones were worried about him. They sought to get the gun taken away, Sack said, as well as have him stay at a mental health facility, check his room, monitor what came in the mail, and make sure he was interacting with people and feeling loved.

Based on what they believed was possible, “they made every attempt,” Sack said. That’s why I imagine his mom is so upset about the families who forked out the cash to watch his episode.

The shooter “forced admission into the school” with the weapon and a huge amount of ammo, some of which was strapped to his chest, according to Sack. The shooter had graduated from the same institution the previous year.

There were bullet holes all around the building after the shooting, and panicked kids and teachers barricaded themselves in classrooms, crouched in corners, and even jumped out of windows.

FBI agents searching Harris’s car after the shooting discovered a letter and a notepad containing possible attack planning details.

Sack said that the institution of higher learning was the intended victim. There was a gulf between him and the rest of the school, or so he thought. In his mind, he was completely alone.

 

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