ST. LOUIS — Three people died, including the suspected gunman, in a school shooting in south St. Louis Monday morning.
A gunman opened fire inside Central Visual Performing Arts High School Monday morning, killing a teenage girl and a woman. Minutes later, he exchanged gunfire on the school’s third floor and was shot and killed.
The shooting happened just after 9 a.m., when the suspect made his way into the school and opened fire.
Students that were inside the building said they heard gunshots and could also hear sirens outside the building.
Adrianne Bolden, a freshman at Central VPA High School, recalled the moment he and his classmates escaped as gunshots rang out.
“We just 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," Adrianne said.
"We started hearing glass breaking from the outside and gunshots from outside the door. We tried to jump out of the window, but there was concrete at the bottom of one of the windows that was open. So, we couldn’t go down there," he said.
Student Keyshawn Brooks said the shooter forced his way into his classroom.
“They had shot our classroom door down and a man opened the door and he was like, ‘Y’all are going to die today,’” Brooks said.
He said he watched the man shoot his teacher and three students before leaving the room.
“He shot the teacher first. She fell to the floor. Another boy got shot in the hand and he was bleeding. Two other girls got shot,” Brooks said. “When he left the room, we opened the window and we jumped out.”
Interim Police Chief Michael Sack said one woman and one teenage girl were killed in the shooting. The woman died at the hospital and the teenager died at the school.
The teacher's union confirmed that the woman who was killed was a teacher, but they said they would not release her name until all of her family had been notified.
Another student told 5 On Your Side about her encounter with the shooter.
“They were banging on Mr. Williams’ room door. They shot like four times," the student said. "[The suspect] said, 'All of y’all are going to die.’ Everyone was scared… I’m just glad that I’m OK,” she said.
Police have not identified a motive for the shooting.
Another student, Merius McFadden, said he thought the school was doing drills until he walked into the hallway.
“They pulled the fire alarm and we have had back-to-back drills before. So, I walked out the door and walked into the hallway. Somebody behind me said ‘Stop!’ I said, ‘What?’ …. Nobody was coming out of the classroom but us. As soon as they said that all I heard was ‘pow pow pow,’” he said. “So, I hurried up and we ran back in the classroom and locked the door. We just stayed in the corner until we heard the police come knocking at the door.”
Sack said police ran into the school after hearing gunfire. When they encountered him on the third floor, they exchanged gunfire with him. He was shot and injured in the exchanged and was later pronounced dead.
Student Adrianne Bolden reunited with his mother in a nearby Schnucks parking lot after the shooting. When 5 On Your Side asked Adrianne how he felt once he was able to see his mother, he said, “Hopeful."
Editor's note: A previous version of this story included a description of a suspect from a student who said they witnessed the shooting. That description was inaccurate according to police information and has been removed.