St. Louis police are urging parents and the community to be aware and speak up if someone who is showing signs of mental health distress begins to talk about purchasing weapons.
“It’s important that all of us be engaged so that we can try and intervene as early as possible in a person’s life to try and prevent a tragedy from occurring,” interim St. Louis Police Chief Michael Sack said Tuesday, the day after a shooting at Central Visual and Performing Arts High School left two people dead and seven injured.
St. Louis Public Schools confirmed Tuesday that the student killed was Alexzandria Bell, 15. The injured, all teenagers, were reported to be stable with gunshot wounds, cuts and broken bones. One victim, a 15-year-old boy, required surgery.
Sack said the shooter, a former student at the magnet school in south St. Louis, left a note that indicated he was struggling with feelings of isolation and being a loner. The letter referenced a “perfect storm” for a mass shooting.
Classes were canceled Tuesday at both CVPA and Collegiate School of Medicine and Biosciences, which shares a building with Central. SLPS is making both virtual and in-person resources available for students and staff across the district. The long-term future of the building is not clear.
DeAndre Davis, the district’s director of safety and security, said officials with SLPS and the police department had undergone active shooter training a month and a half ago. He praised both the school security guards and the police officers who responded.
“And the kids did exactly what they were supposed to do,” Davis said. “They barricaded those doors, they got away from those windows, and when it came time to evacuate, they got out of that building as best they could.”