The family of the 19-year-old suspect accused of opening fire at a high school in St. Louis, Missouri, had recently removed the firearm used in the school shooting from their home, but the teenager somehow found her, authorities said Wednesday.
A student and a teacher were killed in Monday morning’s shooting at Central Visual and Performing Arts High School. Several others were injured.
Suspect Orlando Harris, who police say was armed with an AR-15 rifle and more than 600 rounds when he ‘forced entry’ into the building, died during an exchange shots, according to the St. Louis police commissioner. Michael Bag.
Sack told reporters at a press conference Wednesday that the family had previously contacted the department about a firearm found in the home.
On Oct. 15, police responded to a domestic disturbance at Harris’ home because “the suspect’s mother located a firearm in the house and wanted it removed,” the St. Louis sergeant said. Charles Wall said in an update Wednesday evening.
Police determined that Harris legally possessed the gun, and a “third party known to the family” took the gun away from storage in the home, Wall said.
“Although it is not yet known when or how the suspect came into possession of the firearm after this incident, we can confirm that the firearm involved in this incident is the firearm used during of Monday’s shooting,” Wall said.
Harris — who graduated from high school last year — had seen mental health professionals, Sack said Wednesday, and his family has committed him on some occasions.
Whenever Harris’ family “noticed him, sort of, getting out of line…they always worked to try to get him back on his meds, get him back into therapy, whatever he needed,” Sack said. .
The family – who have been “fully cooperative” with police – appear to have “done everything they could have done” to help Harris, Sack said, “but sometimes that just isn’t enough.”
Wall added that “this tragic incident happened despite their best efforts.”
Harris “felt isolated and alone” and “there was a disconnect between him and what he felt was the school community,” Sack said.
The school “has always been the target,” he said.
Sack said Tuesday that Harris left behind a notebook with writings about his desire to “carry out this school shooting.”
According to Sack, Harris wrote, “I have no friends, I have no family, I never had a girlfriend, I never had a social life.”
Sack said Harris called himself a “lone loner”, which Harris called a “perfect storm for a mass shooter”.
Harris’ family searched his room on occasion, but the family was unaware of his notebook, Sack said.
It is not yet known when or how Harris purchased the gun, Sack said.
ABC News’ Will Gretsky contributed to this report.
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