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Timeline: 3 dead, including suspect, after shooting at south St. Louis high school

Police are still working to identify the shooter and piece together what happened. This is a timeline of events as police say occurred.
Credit: AP
People gather outside after a shooting at Central Visual and Performing Arts high school in St. Louis, on Monday, Oct. 24, 2022. (Jordan Opp/St. Louis Post-Dispatch via AP)

ST. LOUIS — Three people, including the shooter, died and six others were injured in a shooting at a south St. Louis high school Monday morning.

Police are still working to identify the shooter and piece together what happened. This is a timeline of events as police say they occurred as of this writing:

Interim St. Louis Metropolitan Police Chief Michael Sack said police received a call at 9:11 a.m. for a report of a school shooting at Central VPA High School on South Kingshighway Boulevard. He said the suspect, 19-year-old Orlando Harris, tried to force his way into the school. Sack said the doors of the school were locked and a security officer inside notified police and other school officials of the incident.

“Security staff did an outstanding job identifying the suspect’s efforts to enter and immediately notified other staff and ensured (police) were contacted,” Sack said in a news conference.

Sack did not say how the shooter managed to make his way into the school. St. Louis Public Schools Superintendent Kelvin Adams said there were seven security officers at the school Monday morning. He said they were near the metal detectors at the school entrances, where students enter and exit.

Sack said police arrived at the school four minutes later. He said officers heard gunfire inside the school and ran inside. He said they located the suspect on the school's third floor eight minutes and exchanged gunfire with the suspect. He said the suspect, who was using a long gun, was injured in the gunfire and was later pronounced dead. A call for suspect down came out two minutes after officers engaged with him.

Sack said none of the officers were injured.

At 9:32, police said the scene was secured. The building was cleared by police at 9:52.

Before police arrived, one teen girl and one woman were shot and killed. Six other people were taken from the scene with injuries that varied from gunshot wounds to shrapnel injuries to cardiac arrest.

The woman was identified as Jean Kuczka, a health teacher at the high school. Her daughter, Abbey Kuczka, confirmed to NBC News that her mother was killed by the gunman.

"I found out just a few hours ago," she told NBC News Monday afternoon.

According to her bio on the school's website, she started teaching at the school in 2008. She was an avid bike rider, mother of five and grandmother of seven.

Students inside the school said some had to jump from windows to escape the school.

At 9:47 a.m., St. Louis Public Schools tweeted that the school was on lockdown. The tweets said students were evacuated, and the district was setting up a location for parents to reunite with their students.

Parents and students were initially reuniting with their parents at a nearby Schnucks. A short time later, SLPS established a new pickup location at Gateway STEM at 5101 McRee Ave.

At 9:57 a.m., City of St. Louis Emergency Management tweeted that roads in the area were closed and would be for several hours.

At about 11:10 a.m., Interim Chief Sack, Superintendent Kelvin Adams, Mayor Tishaura Jones, U.S. Rep. Cori Bush and Public Safety Director Dan Isom held a news conference at Central VPA High School.

As of 11:50 a.m., neither the shooter nor the victims who were killed have been identified to the public. He said they are working to notify the families of the victims before releasing their names. They are working to figure out the suspect’s identity and determine any connection he may have had with the school.

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