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.
The suspect, who was also killed in the shooting at Central High School for the Visual and Performing Arts, has been identified by police as Orlando Harris, who graduated from the high school last year.
Harris, who has no criminal record, left a handwritten note in his car stating his desire to “do this school shooting,” 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.” Sack said Harris described himself as an “isolated loner,” which was “the perfect storm for a mass shooter.”
Authorities said Monday that there are “suspicions that he may be suffering from some form of mental illness.”
The school district identified the two victims as 15-year-old student Alexandria Bell and 61-year-old physical education teacher Jean Kuczka.
Seven other victims, aged 15 or 16, were injured and hospitalized. All are listed in stable condition, according to St. Louis police.
Sack said Harris had seven rounds of ammunition on his chest device and eight rounds of ammunition in a bag.
“This number does not include the number of magazines he left on the stairwells in the corridors,” he added.
The shooting was reported around 9:10 a.m. local time, police said.
Officials did not say how the gunman got into the building, but police stressed that the school’s doors were locked. On Tuesday, the official said he did not enter the school through a checkpoint.
According to St. Louis Schools Superintendent Kelvin Adams, there were seven security guards at the school. Officials said security staff detected the suspect’s efforts to enter the school and immediately notified other staff members.
“It could have been a horrible scene — by the grace of God it wasn’t,” Sack said Tuesday.
“Guns are very easy to get,” Sack said at a news conference Monday. “I’ve said it before — gun laws in Missouri [are] very wide… they can openly carry them on any street and there’s really nothing we can do about it.
St. Louis Mayor Tishaura Jones said she visited the students at the start of the school year.
“They were bright-eyed, bushy-tailed. We laughed, we sang, we danced. And now to be here in such a devastating and traumatic situation hurts my heart,” she said. “My heart aches for those families who send their children to our schools expecting them to be safe. Our children should not have to experience this.”
White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre addressed the shooting at Monday’s news conference, saying, “We need additional action to stop the scourge of gun violence.”
“Every day that the Senate fails to send an assault weapons ban to the president’s desk or waits to take … other common sense action is a day too late for our families and communities affected by gun violence,” she told reporters.
At Tuesday’s news conference, Sack urged anyone to report to police if they “know of a person who appears to be suffering from some sort of mental illness or distress” and is talking about buying weapons or causing harm.
ABC News’ Ben Gittleson, Darren Reynolds, Matt Foster and Teddy Grant contributed to this report.