A 19-year-old former student was armed with an AR-15 rifle and more than 600 rounds of ammunition when he opened fire at a St. Louis, Missouri high school on Monday morning, killing two and injuring several others. according to authorities.
Police identified the suspect, who also died in the shooting at Central High School for the Visual and Performing Arts, as Orlando Harris, who graduated from the high school last year.
Harris, who had no criminal history, left a handwritten note in his car that spoke of his desire to “do this school shooting,” St. Louis Police Commissioner Michael Sacks said at a news conference Tuesday.
Sacks said Harris wrote, “I have no friends, I have no family, I’ve never had a girlfriend, I’ve never had a social life.” Sacks said Harris called himself an “isolated loner” who was the “perfect storm for a mass shooter.”
Authorities said on Monday that he was “suspected to have a mental illness”.
The school district has identified the two victims who were killed as 15-year-old student Alexandria Bell and 61-year-old physical education teacher Jean Kuchka.
Seven other victims, all 15 or 16 years old, were injured and hospitalized. All were listed in stable condition, according to St. Louis police.
Sacks said Harris had seven ammunition magazines on his chest rig and eight ammunition caches in his bag.
“That doesn’t include the number of magazines he left dumped on the stairs in the hallways along the way,” he added.
The shooting was reported at about 9:10 a.m. local time, police said.
Authorities did not say how the gunman entered the building, but police stressed that the school’s doors were locked. On Tuesday, an official said she did not enter the school through the checkpoint.
According to St. Louis Superintendent of Schools Kelvin Adams, there were seven security guards at the school. Officials said security staff identified the suspect’s efforts to enter the school and immediately notified other staff.
“This could have been a horrific scene — by the grace of God it wasn’t,” Sacks said Tuesday.
“Guns are very easy to get,” Sacks said at a news conference Monday. “I said it before — the gun laws in Missouri [are] very broad… they can openly carry them down any street and there’s really nothing we can do.
St. Louis Mayor Tishaura Jones said she had visited the students when the school year started.
“They had bright eyes, bushy tails. We laughed, we sang, we danced. And now to be here in such a devastating and traumatic situation breaks my heart,” she said. “My heart aches for these families who send their children to our schools hoping they will be safe. Our children shouldn’t have to go through this.”
White House press secretary Karin Jean-Pierre addressed the shooting at a press briefing Monday, saying, “We need more action to stop the scourge of gun violence.”
“Every day that the Senate does not send the assault weapons ban to the president’s desk or waits to take … other sensible action is a day too late for our families and communities affected by gun violence,” she told reporters.
At Tuesday’s press conference, Sacks urged anyone to report to police if they “know of a person who appears to be suffering from some type of mental illness or distress” and is talking about acquiring weapons or causing harm.
ABC News’ Ben Gittleson, Darren Reynolds, Matt Foster and Teddy Grant contributed to this report.