Shooting Leaves Two Dead at St. Louis High School

On Oct. 24, a 19-year-old man carried out a shooting at St. Louis High School that left two dead and seven injured, according to the local police. Orlando Harris was the suspect of this fatal act at the Central Visual and Performing Arts (VPA) High School. In fact, he was a former high school student who graduated in 2021.

At a press conference Monday night, St. Louis Metropolitan Police Commissioner Michael Sack shared details about what happened. According to Sack, around 9:11 am the police got a call about an active shooter at the High School. Four minutes after the call, the police were already on the scene. Minutes later, they located the shooter, and they had a gunfight with him. During the gunfight, the shooter was injured by the police, and was later transferred to a nearby hospital where he died.

The two fatalities were identified by the police. The first was a 16-year-old student named Alexandria Bell, she remained on the scene where she was pronounced dead. 

The second victim was Jean Kuczka, who was a 61-year-old high school physical education teacher. Kuczka was transported to and died at a local hospital. According to the school’s website, Kuzka had been part of the school community since 2008. Also, she lived with her husband and one of her five children. 

During the conference, police also shared details about Harris. They said that Harris had no previous criminal history, and lived with his family. Also, the police mentioned that mental health problems could be what motivated him to carry out this act in his old high school.


Throughout the investigation, new details about this case have been revealed. Harris used a 223 caliber AR-15-style rifle and carried a large amount of ammunition.

When Harris first tried to buy a gun, the background check blocked the sale. However, he was able to obtain the firearm through a private individual who had purchased the firearm from a licensed dealer. 

In a new press conference held Thursday, Police Commissioner Sack stated that in the suspect’s car, the police had found a document in a notebook where he mentioned his desire to carry out this incident. The notebook also mentioned how he perceived his social life; he had no friends and had never had a girlfriend, “this was the perfect storm for a mass shooter,” Harris wrote.

The police shared the concern, and the importance of being aware of the children of the house. Knowing what is going on in their lives and helping them can prevent these types of incidents. Sack mentioned that, “The threat here is over, however, we’re going to continue to be vigilant in our schools.” 

The attack on the Central Visual and Performing Arts High School adds to the long list of school shootings that have occurred across the country.