A gunman opened fire on a St. Louis high school before being struck and killed by responding officers, Missouri police say.
The shooting at Central Visual and Performing Arts High School occurred around 10:10 a.m. ET, according to St. Louis Interim Police Commissioner Michael Sack.
Officers arrived within minutes of the shooting and “ran to the gunfire,” Sack said during a news conference. Police found the suspect armed with a “long gun” and officers exchanged shots with him. The suspect was fatally shot.
A woman died after being taken to a hospital and a teenage girl was pronounced dead inside the school, the interim police commissioner said.
Their names have not been released. Seven more people were injured. Injuries ranged from gunshot wounds to shrapnel injuries.
“This is a heartbreaking day for all of us,” Sack said. Police have not identified the shooter, who was said to be around 20 years old. The school was secure as of 11:45 a.m. ET, police said.
Some students and teachers initially believed the shooting was a drill, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. “I heard one big one, and then there were so many I stopped counting,” 16-year-old Ja’Miah Hampton told the publication.
“I’m confused why people are so cruel.” Dakota Willard, a 14-year-old who attends the Collegiate School of Medicine and Bio science inside the CVPA building, called what he saw “traumatizing,” according to the Post-Dispatch. KTVI reported that children were seen running from the school, and officers could be seen helping them scale fences and buildings.
“Help us Jesus,” St. Louis Mayor Tishaura Jones tweeted Monday morning as news of the shooting was being reported. This is a developing story and will be updated.