A 19-year-old former student armed with an AR-15 rifle and more than 600 rounds of ammunition opened fire at a St. Louis, Missouri high school early Monday morning, killing two people and injuring several others. according to authorities.
The suspect who also died in the shooting at Central High School for the Visual and Performing Arts has been identified by police as Orlando Harris, who graduated from high school last year.
Harris, who has no criminal record, left a handwritten note in his car saying he wanted to “shoot up this school,” St. Louis Police Commissioner Michael Sack said at a news conference Tuesday.
Sack said Harris wrote: “I have no friends, no family, never had a girlfriend, never had a social life.” According to Sack, Harris described himself as an “isolated loner” in what was a “perfect storm for a mass shooting.”
Authorities said Monday that “there is suspicion that he may have some sort of mental illness.”
The two victims who died in the incident were identified as 15-year-old student Alexandria Bell and 61-year-old physical education teacher Jean Kuchka.
Seven more victims aged 15-16 were injured and hospitalized. All are in stable condition, according to St. Louis police.
According to Sack, Harris had seven rounds of ammunition in his chest and eight rounds in the bag.
“That doesn’t include the number of magazines he left on the stairs in the hallway,” he added.
The shooting happened around 9:10 a.m. local time, police said.
Authorities did not say how the gunman entered the building, but police emphasized that the school’s doors were locked. On Tuesday, the official said he did not enter the school through the checkpoint.
St. Louis Schools Superintendent Kelvin Adams said there were seven security guards at the school. According to officials, security personnel detected the suspect’s attempt to enter the school and immediately notified other staff.
“It could have been a terrible scene — it didn’t happen by the grace of God,” Sack said Tuesday.
“Guns are very easy to get,” Sack said at a news conference Monday. — I’ve said it before — Missouri’s gun laws [are] very broad … they are openly carried on any street, and we can do nothing.”
St. Louis Mayor Tishaura Jones said she visited the students at the start of the school year.
“Their eyes were bright and their tails were bushy. We were laughing, singing and dancing. It breaks my heart to be here in such a devastating and traumatic situation,” she said. “My heart goes out to these families who are sending their children to our schools hoping they will be safe. Our children should not have to go through this.”
“We need more action to end the scourge of gun violence,” White House press secretary Karin Jean-Pierre said at a press briefing Monday.
“Every day the Senate fails to send the assault weapons ban to the president’s desk or waits to take other sensible action is too late for our families and communities affected by gun violence,” he told reporters.
At a press conference on Tuesday, Sack urged anyone to report to police if they “know of someone who is suffering from any mental illness or suffering” and is talking about buying a weapon or causing harm.
ABC News’ Ben Gittleson, Darren Reynolds, Matt Foster and Teddy Grant contributed to this report.