Suspect In St. Louis School Shooting Had Manifesto, Police Say

Orlando Harris, 19, wrote he's been an "isolated loner" his whole life

click to enlarge School shooting suspect Orlando Harris' weapon.
School shooting suspect Orlando Harris' weapon.

The shooter who stormed Central Visual and Performing Arts High School on Monday had over 600 rounds of ammunition and wrote in a manifesto that his life was “a perfect storm for a mass shooting.”

St. Louis Police Interim Police Commissioner Mike Sack read briefly from the so-called manifesto at a press briefing Tuesday and showed photos of the weapon used by the 19-year-old, who police say is responsible for yesterday's school shooting in south St. Louis.

Sack said that the manifesto was recovered from Harris' car.

click to enlarge School shooting suspect Orlando Harris' ammunition.
School shooting suspect Orlando Harris' ammunition.

"I don't have any friends. I don't have any family," Sack read from the manifesto written by the alleged gunman, Orlando Harris. "I've never had a girlfriend. I've never had a social life. I've been an isolated loner my whole life. This was the perfect storm for a mass shooting."

Sack said that Harris used a .223 caliber, AR15-style rifle and entered the school with more than 600 rounds of ammunition on his person, including seven magazines of ammunition on a chest rig and an additional eight magazines in a field bag.

"Six hundred rounds is a lot of ammunition," said Sack. "This could have been a horrific scene, but it wasn't by the grace of God."

DeAndre Davis, director of safety and security for St. Louis Public Schools, said that the officers stationed at St. Louis Public Schools were not armed, but there are approximately 25 "mobile" officers with the school system who are armed and respond to incidents.

click to enlarge School shooting suspect Orlando Harris' vest and ammunition.
School shooting suspect Orlando Harris' vest and ammunition.

“That collaboration worked. The drills worked. The kids worked. The kids did exactly what they were supposed to do. They barricaded those doors, they got away from those windows, and when it was time to evacuate they did the best they could, they got out of that building.”

Police say Harris, 19, graduated from Central VPA last year. The magnet school at Kingshighway and Arsenal shares a building with the Collegiate School of Medicine and Bioscience.

More than 100 children in the St. Louis area have been killed by gun violence in the past four years, according to the Eastern District of Missouri. White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre called for an assault weapons ban on Tuesday in response to yesterday’s shooting in St. Louis.
click to enlarge A smashed door outside of Central VPA High School - Benjamin Simon
Benjamin Simon
A smashed door outside of Central VPA High School
St. Louis Mayor Tishaura Jones spoke after Sack, saying, "Let me be absolutely clear: The scourge of gun violence that continues to claim the lives of our children and families in their communities is a national emergency."

Jones also spoke of the ways in which yesterday's shooting impacted her own school-aged son.

"I honestly felt like the safest place and, and the best place, for him to be today was to be back in school," she said. "To be with school counselors who will be there to help him process, his teachers who care about him and staff who care about him."

About The Authors

Ryan Krull

Ryan Krull is a staff writer for the Riverfront Times. Find him on Twitter @ryanwkrull

Monica Obradovic

Monica Obradovic is a staff writer for the Riverfront Times.
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