Central Visual and Performing Arts High School in St. Louis was the site of a shooting that claimed the lives of a teen and an adult on Monday morning, police commissioner Michael Sack said.
According to him, police engaged the shooter in gunfire and eventually killed him. He was declared deceased at a later time, Sack said. The police had earlier stated that the shooter was in custody.
The gunman and victims were not immediately revealed, but Sack revealed during a press conference that the victims were a woman who died at the hospital and a teenage girl who was killed at the scene. A man of roughly 20 years of age, he stated, had been the shooter.
The commissioner stated that eight people were sent to local hospitals. The shooting was reported on social media platforms.
Sack said police arrived within minutes and spoke to youngsters who described an assault with “a long rifle.”
While Sack would not specify how the shooter gained access to the building, he did add that locking the doors afforded responding cops time to arrive.
“The security personnel performed an amazing job identifying the suspect’s efforts to enter and quickly notifying other staff and ensuring that we were called,” Sack added.
After tweeting about an active shooter, the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department then announced 45 minutes later, “At this moment, the location is secure and there is no current danger.”
The district released a statement saying it was “devastated” by Monday’s shooting. St. Louis Public Schools announced that the whole district, including CVPA and two other schools, will stay on lockdown for the remainder of the day.
Instructor: Shots fired repeatedly
Math instructor David Williams said over the phone that gunfire rang out at 10:00 a.m. (1:00 p.m. ET), prompting students and staff to enter “drill mode” by shutting off lights, locking doors, and huddling in corners to avoid detection.
It shook when there was a knock on the door, he remarked. Williams claimed that he heard a person attempting to open the door.
Williams claimed that sirens suddenly sounded in the distance, followed by three gunshots. An adult’s voice could be heard yelling, “You are all going to f**king die,” and he remembered hearing that.
Williams claimed that a gunshot pierced one of the windows in his classroom not long after.
According to him, the gunfire escalated.
There was another volley of gunfire, Williams claimed, before he heard a woman identify herself as a police officer. This was followed by the arrival of policemen from tactical units.
He said the experience lasted about 40 minutes and that Williams and the students ran to an emergency exit.
Williams’ classroom is on the third floor, where police exchanged fire with the shooter, according to Sack.
The Circuit Attorney for the City of St. Louis, Kimberly M. Gardner, has stated that many people responded in accordance with their training and helped to save the lives of others.
One thing that is evident is that lockdown procedures – which administrators, instructors, and students at Central Visual and Performing Arts High School and first responders followed as this attack unfolded – were important in preventing greater violence, as stated by Gardner.
Support from the FBI and the ATF
About six kilometres southwest of the city centre is where you’ll find this magnet high school with around 400 students.
The district announced that students were being sent to “safe and secure areas” as they evacuated the school. Parents have been told to pick up their kids from Gateway Stem High School, about a mile and a half north of CVPA, and the public is being asked to stay away from the area.
This news comes on the same day that a Michigan juvenile, Ethan Crumbley, pled guilty to murder charges for his role in a school shooting last year that left four people dead and seven injured in Michigan. Nikolas Cruz, the shooter at the Florida high school where 17 people died in February 2018, will be sentenced on November 1.
As the St. Louis shooting case progressed, a prosecutor in Michigan spoke out about gun violence in America after Crumbley pleaded guilty.
Sharing with other divisions is only part of the picture. In most cases, it is possible to avoid gun violence. After learning this, Oakland County Prosecutor Karen McDonald remarked, “I am not surprised that there has been another school shooting, which is horrible.” The situation can be avoided, and we should never accept it as inevitable.
White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre recently called on lawmakers to ban assault weapons during a press briefing.
In a statement, she expressed her condolences to “everyone impacted by today’s horrible tragedy,” including those who were hurt or lost a loved one, their loved ones, and the first responders. Gun violence is a plague that must be eradicated, and more must be done to do it.
Time is of the essence, and every day that goes by without the Senate sending an assault weapons ban to the President’s desk or taking other common-sense reforms is a day too late for our families and communities touched by gun violence.
Spokesperson Rebecca Wu confirmed that the FBI’s St. Louis field office is aiding local authorities in their reaction to the shooting. In addition, the ATF’s Kansas City field office is helping out, as stated by ATF spokesperson John Ham in a statement.