Social Media Misidentifies Spanish Lake Man as St. Louis School Shooter

"I want a check," says Deshawn Harris, who was wrongly identified by Gateway Pundit

Deshawn Harris, 23, of Spanish Lake, wants everyone to know he is not 19-year-old Orlando Deshawn Harris.
Courtesy Deshawn Harris
Deshawn Harris, 23, of Spanish Lake, has been mistaken for 19-year-old Orlando Deshawn Harris, an alleged school shooter.

A 23-year-old former Hazelwood East student has had his life turned upside down after some in the media mistook his Facebook account as belonging to Monday's school shooting suspect, Orlando Deshawn Harris.

Deshawn Harris, who currently lives in Spanish Lake, says that when he got off work Monday, "Everybody was posting me on Facebook, tagging me. I kept untagging. I said, 'Why does everybody keep tagging me on Facebook?'

"People were talking about how I did horrible stuff for killing this person," Harris says. "I didn't even know this person."

On Monday evening, when St. Louis police released the name of the 19-year-old suspected of killing a teacher and a student at Central Visual and Performing Arts High School, journalists and amateur sleuths were in a mad dash to find more information on the alleged shooter.

It didn't take long for many of them to come across Deshawn Harris's Facebook profile, much of which was set to public and included photos of him holding a long gun.

The Gateway Pundit included numerous screenshots from Deshawn's profile under the headline "MASS SHOOTER IDENTIFIED in St. Louis School Shooting – Deshawn Orlando Harris posted Threat on Social Media and Numerous Photos with Guns."

People began commenting on old posts of his. "You killed a child bro," began one commenter. "And now YO DED fool...good riddance," wrote another.

"I don't want my son all over that type of stuff," Debra Harris, Deshawn's mom, told RFT. She said that her sister and nieces have called her worried.

Harris said that he's been trying to stay inside as much as possible since Monday, afraid that the case of mistaken identity online might lead to someone trying to hurt him in real life.

Harris says he wants to know what sort of legal options he has to clear his name.

"I want someone to cut me out a check," he says.

We welcome tips and feedback. Email the author at [email protected]
or follow on Twitter at @RyanWKrull.

About The Author

Ryan Krull

Ryan Krull is a staff writer for the Riverfront Times. Find him on Twitter @ryanwkrull
Scroll to read more St. Louis Metro News articles (1)

Newsletters

Join Riverfront Times Newsletters

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.