The gunman entered Central Visual & Performing Arts High School on Monday and started shooting. Police quickly arrived at the scene and stopped the gunman, the school said.
Orlando Harris was carrying hundreds of bullets that were sorted into nearly a dozen high-capacity magazines, the city’s police commissioner Michael Sack said in a press conference.
“This could have been much worse… This is a heart-breaking day for all of us,” he said.
Talking about gun laws in the state, Sack said that it is “very easy to get guns.”
“The gun laws in Missouri are very broad,” Sack said. “There’s really nothing we can do if someone walks down the main street with a rifle. We’ve got no cause to go talk to them.”
Students were seen running out of the school when officers arrived and found the suspect, who was carrying a “long gun.”
Witnesses say lives were saved after the gunman’s weapon jammed mid-attack.
According to the NRA-ILA, the “lobbying” arm of the National Rifle Association of America, no permit is needed to carry a concealed handgun if the person is at least 19 years of age.
“That the right of every citizen to keep and bear arms, ammunition, and accessories typical to the normal function of such arms, in defense of his home, person, family and property, or when lawfully summoned in aid of the civil power, shall not be questioned. The rights guaranteed by this section shall be unalienable. Any restriction on these rights shall be subject to strict scrutiny and the state of Missouri shall be obligated to uphold these rights and shall under no circumstances decline to protect against their infringement. Nothing in this section shall be construed to prevent the general assembly from enacting general laws which limit the rights of convicted violent felons or those adjudicated by a court to be a danger to self or others as result of a mental disorder or mental infirmity,” Article 1 Section 13 of the State Constitutional Provision reads.
The incident is the 257th incident of gunfire on school grounds this calendar year, according to the K-12 School Shooting Database.
State Rep. Crystal Quade, Missouri House Minority Leader, took to Twitter to call on lawmakers to “do better to address the epidemic of gun violence killing Missourians.”