Central VPA HS shooting in St Louis leaves 3 dead, including woman and teen girl and 20 year old white male gunman who threatened to kill all students at majority black school.
‘You’re all going to die today.’ These are the words a white gunman clad in all black screamed at students and teachers alike upon storming a St. Louis high school Monday morning just after 9a.m, leaving a female teacher dead along with a teen student girl, with seven others taken to hospitals with injuries, police said.
At a news conference, Police Commissioner Michael Sack said the injuries ranged from gunshot wounds to shrapnel wounds and cardiac arrest. Sack said the gunman was about 20 years old and hasn’t been positively identified.
The adult teacher was later identified as Jean Kirk Kuczka, a 61 year old mother-of-five and grandmother-of-seven. She’d been teaching at the school for 14 years and resided in Jean Dittmer, Missouri with her husband and one of her five children. The teen girl shot dead has since been identified as 15 year old student, Alexandra ‘Alex’ Bell according to her family.
St. Louis Public Schools said on Twitter that the shooter was ‘quickly stopped’ by police. The shooting took place just after 9 a.m. at Central Visual and Performing Arts High School, with fearful students barricading doors and huddling in classroom corners, while others jumped from windows and fleeing the building, seeking safety.
A teenage girl and an adult woman were killed by a gunman in a shooting at Central Visual and Performing Arts High School in St. Louis, Missouri, this morning, according to authorities. Former FBI Agent Brad Garrett has the latest on the investigation. https://t.co/oerlrO5aCr pic.twitter.com/3Njwdxbqbf
— ABC News Live (@ABCNewsLive) October 24, 2022
3 DEAD IN SCHOOL SHOOTING: Three people, including a gunman, are dead, and 7 are injured after a shooting at a St. Louis high school, police said. Here’s what police and witnesses say happened. pic.twitter.com/fZWN7SBhxI
— Stardew (@0xStardew) October 24, 2022
BREAKING: Two people are dead – a woman and teen girl – and seven are wounded after a shooting this morning at Central Visual & Performing Arts High School in St. Louis.
We’re the only high income country where children aren’t safe in their schools.
— Shannon Watts (@shannonrwatts) October 24, 2022
— Kim Bell (@kbellpd) October 24, 2022
‘I made it out cause his gun jammed…’
Sack said security officials initially became alarmed when the shooter tried to get into the locked school building. He declined to say how the man got inside, armed with what he described as a long gun.
Officers ‘ran to that gunfire, located that shooter and engaged that shooter in an exchange of gunfire,’ killing him, Sack said. The police chief declined to name the victims and did not say if the woman who was killed was a teacher.
Told 16 year old student, Taniya Gholston, who was in a room when the shooter entered.
‘All I heard was two shots and he came in there with a gun,’ Gholston told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. ‘And I was trying to run and I couldn’t run. Me and him made eye contact but I made it out because his gun got jammed. But we saw blood on the floor.’
— ExpectUsSTL365 (@EStl365) October 24, 2022
This is so sad! Active shooter at CENTRAL VPA. Go get your babies smh. pic.twitter.com/VOd4gFtL1e
— BRIH-ANNA (Mrs Class-A) 💋 (@badgalbrih__) October 24, 2022
The scene outside of Central VPA is absolutely devastating. Parents driving frantically to find their kids. Students crying in the Arsenal Schnucks parking lot. Teachers trying to process their worst nightmare come to life. There are busses driving students and teachers away now.
— Monica Obradovic (@MonicaObradovic) October 24, 2022
What motivated gunman?
In the aftermath of the shooting, one of the students said the gunman was a white man with several students saying he told them all they were going to die today.
Central Visual and Performing Arts High School is a magnet school specializing in visual art, musical art and performing art. The district website says the school’s ‘educational program is designed to create a nurturing environment where students receive a quality academic and artistic education that prepares them to compete successfully at the post-secondary level or perform competently in the world of work.’
Central VPA is a majority Black school, almost 90 percent of the students are not white.
Authorities to date had yet to say what motivated the gunman.