Police swarmed the area around Central Visual and Performing Arts High School Monday morning after a shooter entered the school at approximately 9:10 a.m.
Three people have died and several more were injured in a shooting at Central Visual and Performing Arts High School Monday morning
St. Louis Interim Police Commissioner Mike Sack says one adult female and one teenage female died from gunfire this morning after a shooter entered the school
. The woman died after EMS rushed her to a hospital. The teenage girl died at the school.
Police shot and killed the suspect not long after they arrived.
Students described a scene of horror
, and Sack said that surviving victims suffered from a variety of injuries, from gunshot to shrapnel wounds. Eight were taken to a hospital with injuries.
"While on paper we have nine victims — eight were transported and one remained — we have hundreds of others," Sack said at a news conference. "Everyone who survived is going to take home trauma."
Students told the RFT that some people tried to escape the building through windows.
Police at this time are unsure whether the shooter has any personal relationship to the school. They estimate he's about 20 years old.
The shooting occurred at approximately 9:10 a.m. Monday. Sack says the school's doors had been locked, which bought officers some time. Officers arrived within a few minutes of a 911 call.
The shooter was armed with "a long gun," police and witnesses say. Officers exchanged in gunfire with the suspect once they arrived, and struck him. The suspect was then taken away from the school.
"It's terrible to think about; here is a safe place where kids go to learn, to grow, to develop, and something like this happens," Sack says. "It's just heartbreaking."
Students, parents and teachers gathered outside of the Schnucks on Arsenal before buses transported them to Gateway School.
After the shooting, students and school staff gathered at the Schnucks on Arsenal. Parents were seen rushing to the high school. Shocked teenagers sat in circles before busses transported them away to Gateway School to reunite with parents.
"Our children shouldn't have to experience this," St. Louis Mayor Tishaura Jones said at the news conference. "They shouldn't have to go through active shooter drills in case something happens, and unfortunately [it] happened today."
Central Visual and Performing Arts High School is a magnet high school at Kingshighway and Arsenal near Tower Grove Park in south St. Louis. Approximately 400 students are enrolled there, according to the National Center for Education Statistics. The school also shares a building with a second magnet school, Collegiate School of Medicine and Bioscience.