A teenage student and an adult were killed Monday morning in a shooting at Central Visual and Performing Arts High School in St. Louis, Police Commissioner Michael Sack said.
Police located the shooter and he was shot in an exchange of gunfire, he said. He was later declared deceased, Sack said. Police previously said the shooter was in custody.
Authorities did not immediately identify the victims or the shooter, but Sack told a news conference that those killed were a woman who was pronounced dead at a hospital and a teenage girl who was killed at the scene. . The shooter was a man who appeared to be around 20 years old, he said.
Eight victims were transported to a hospital in the region, the commissioner said. News of the shooting arrived via social media.
Police arrived within minutes, Sack said, and spoke to the students who described the attacker as carrying “a long gun.”
Sack wouldn’t say how the shooter got into the school, but said the school doors were locked, which delayed the suspect and bought responders time.
“Security personnel did an outstanding job identifying the suspect’s efforts to gain entry and immediately notified other personnel and ensured we were contacted,” Sack said.
The Metropolitan Police Department of St. Louis Police reported the active shooter on Twitter, and approximately 45 minutes later tweeted, “At this time the scene is secure and there are no active threats.
Talk on the phone, Math teacher David Williams said the gunshots erupted shortly after 9 a.m. (10 a.m. ET) and everyone went into “exercise mode”, turning off lights, locking doors and huddled in corners not to be seen.
There was a knock on the door, and it shook, he said.
“Someone was trying to open the door,” Williams said.
Sirens emerged in the distance, and then Williams heard three gunshots, he said. Someone with an adult voice could be heard shouting, “You’re all going to die,” he recalled.
Shortly after, a bullet went through one of the windows in her classroom, Williams said.
The gunfire accelerated, he said. While the first three shots sounded like they were coming from a pistol, the rapid fire of the following shots made Williams think they were coming from a semi-automatic weapon, he said.
Around that time, officers from the tactical teams arrived – a large group of them, well organized – and there was another round of gunfire before Williams heard a woman speak. advertise as a police officer, he said.
Williams and the students ran for an emergency exit, he said, adding that the ordeal lasted about 40 minutes.
Police hired the shooter on the third floor, where Williams’ classroom is, Sack said.
The high school is a magnet school about 6 miles southwest of downtown.
Students were being evacuated from campus “to safe and secure sites,” the district said. People are being asked to avoid the area and parents have been told they can pick up their children from Gateway Stem High School, about a mile and a half north of CVPA.
News of the shooting comes the same day Michigan teenager Ethan Crumbley pleaded guilty to murder charges in a Michigan school shooting last year that left four dead and seven injured. On November 1, Nikolas Cruz will be sentenced for the February 2018 shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida, where 17 people died.
As the St. Louis shooting unfolded, a Michigan prosecutor looked into gun violence in the country following Crumbley’s guilty plea.
“It’s not just about sharing with other departments. Gun violence is preventable. That’s what I learned, and it doesn’t surprise me that there’s another shooting at a school, which is horrific,” Oakland County District Attorney Karen McDonald said. “It’s preventable, and we should never, ever allow it to be something we just have to live with.”
The FBI field office in St. Louis is helping local law enforcement respond to the shooting, spokeswoman Rebecca Wu said. Kansas City, Missouri, Explosives Department is also assisting, spokesman John Ham said in a statement.