St Louis school shooter was ex-student who returned to kill teacher and teen

The gunman who entered a school in St Louis, Missouri, and killed two people yesterday (Monday, October 24) has been identified as a former student.

Orlando Harris, 19, was killed by police after gunning down teacher Jean Kirk Kuczka, 61, and student Alexandria Bell, 16. The teacher died at hospital and the student was pronounced dead at the scene.

Kuczka was a mother-of-five and grandmother-of-seven, who had been teaching at the school for 14 years.

READ MORE: Teenager admits killing classmates in school shooting and faces life without parole

Seven others were injured – three girls and four boys. Their injuries reportedly range from gunshot wounds to cardiac arrest.

Harris was heard screaming "you're all going to die" as he burst into the Central Visual and Performing Arts High School shortly after 9am.

Police said the doors were locked and are refusing to confirm how he entered, fearing it would "give a blueprint" to another would-be shooter.

Witnesses said the "long gun" jammed mid-attack, saving people's lives.

Michael Sack, commissioner of St Louis Police, said there were seven security officers on site who acted quickly in notifying police.

Police said the guards saw Harris trying to enter a locked door. They told school officials who then called police.

Officers were called at 9.11am, arrived at 9.15am and declared the gunman "down" at 9.25am following "an exchange of gunfire". During that time Harris killed Kuczka and Bell.

Sack confirmed that the shooter was carrying nearly a dozen high-capacity ammunition magazines. "This could have been much worse," he added.

Harris' motives remain unclear and he did not have a criminal record.

Police confirmed that they had conducted a search of his home and that evidence was removed from his vehicle.

Speaking to the Daily Mail, the mother of a student who was in the school band with Harris said: "She said he was quiet. He used to sit in the corner by himself. Very anti-social."

Taniya Gholston, 16, told the St Louis Post-Dispatch how he tried to shoot her.

"I was trying to run and I couldn't run," she said. "Me and him made eye contact but I made it out because his gun got jammed."

She said she heard him saying: "I'm tired of this damn school."

The FBI are helping the investigation and appealed for anyone with photos or video to hand them over to police.

"The gun laws in St Louis are very broad," said Sack.

"If someone walks down the street with a rifle, if we have no cause we can't go and talk to them. And that's one of the greatest challenges we face."

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