School shooting leaves 3 dead, including gunman, in St. Louis; several injured

St. Louis, School shooting
St. Louis metropolitan police and school officials stand outside the south entrance to the Central Visual and Performing Arts High School after a shooting that left three people dead including the shooter in St Louis, Missouri on Oct. 24, 2022. - Two people were killed on Monday and several were injured by a gunman who opened fire at a high school in the midwestern U.S. city of St. Louis, police said. |

A gunman entered a Missouri high school and opened fire on Monday, killing two and injuring several others. Authorities say the suspected shooter died at a hospital. 

Police arrived at Central Visual and Performing Arts School in South St. Louis on Monday morning within minutes of the shooting being reported. 

According to St. Louis Metropolitan Police, the call came around 9:10 a.m. Authorities told media that officers arrived at the magnet school as children ran from the building and exchanged shots with the gunman. 

The suspect was an unidentified man believed to be 20 years old, who died later at a hospital.

According to The St. Louis Post-Dispatch, authorities have not released the names of the victims. However, the outlet reports that a health teacher and a teenage girl died in the shooting.

Family members told The Post-Dispatch that 61-year-old health and physical education teacher Jean Kuczka, a mother of five, lost her life. 

Kuczka's daughter said she was told the gunman went into Kuczka's classroom, and the teacher went in front of the gunman to protect the students. 

Freshman Adrianne Bolden told KSDK that when he and his classmates escaped the building, he initially thought it was “a regular intruder drill.”

“But, when we started hearing sirens outside, and the teachers started to even get scared, then we knew that this wasn't just a regular drill and it was real,” said Bolden.

Police Chief Mike Sack said at a news conference that there were at least nine victims, eight of whom were transported for medical attention.

“Everyone who survived here is going to take home trauma," Sack said, according to NBC News.

Authorities have not disclosed a motive for the shooting, or what connection if any the suspect had to the school.

Sack said that the school's doors were locked and wouldn't disclose how the shooter entered the building. A school official said at the news conference that seven security officers were onsite at the time. 

Math teacher David Williams told The St. Louis Post-Dispatch that the principal alerted the school community over the audio system with the codeword for a school shooter. Williams said he heard multiple shots outside his classroom. He also claims he heard a man say: "You are all going to [expletive] die."

In addition to local authorities, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives are investigating the tragic incident.

St. Louis Mayor Tishaura O. Jones said at a news conference that the shooting was "a devastating and traumatic situation."

"I'm heartbroken for these families who send their children to our schools hoping they will be safe," said Jones.

"Our children shouldn't have to experience this, they shouldn't have to go through active shooter drills in case something happens. And unfortunately, that happened today."

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control & Prevention, there were 45,222 gun-related deaths in the United States in 2020, or about 124 people dying from firearms every day.

Of that number, more than half were suicides while around 40% were homicides. Gun violence was the fifth leading cause of death for Americans aged 1-44, according to the CDC.  

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