Police took away St. Louis shooter's rifle days before rampage.

Police took away St. Louis shooter’s rifle days before rampage.


Days before a 19-year-old former student opened fire inside a St. Louis high school, killing two and injuring seven, his family called authorities to report he had a gun at home, police said.

When officers arrived at the residence at about 5 pm on Oct. 15, they confiscated the weapon from Orlando Harris and handed it to an adult who was lawfully able to carry it, interim St. Louis police commissioner Michael Sack said at a Wednesday news conference. Police did not identify the adult.

The gun is believed to be the same AR-15-style rifle Harris fired Monday inside the Central Visual and Performing Arts High School, Sack told reporters. But how Harris got the weapon back is a question detectives are still trying to answer.

“The mother at the time wanted it out of the house so they facilitated that,” Sack said. “How he acquired it after that, we don’t know.”

Police do not know for how long Harris possessed the weapon before his family called police to take it from him. Harris died Monday after a gunfight with police.

Police told The Washington Post in an email that on Oct. 15 — nine days before the shooting — officers who arrived at Harris’s residence deemed he was legally authorized to possess the gun. Police did not answer specific questions about why they handed the weapon to a third party or that person’s relationship to the suspect. They also said they were unable to address follow-up questions about how Harris reobtained the gun.

St. Louis school shooter carried AR-15-style weapon and 600 rounds

The new details about the legally obtained gun police say Harris used to target his alma mater come a day after authorities revealed the man carried 600 rounds of ammunition during the rampage and left a note inside the vehicle he drove to the school, hinting at a possible motivates.

Sack read part of the note during a Tuesday news conference: “I don’t have any friends. I don’t have any family. I’ve never had a girlfriend. I’ve never had a social life. I’ve been an isolated loner my entire life,” Harris wrote, adding that it was a “perfect storm for a mass shooter.”

St. Louis school shooter carried AR-15-style weapon and 600 rounds

But new information shared by police on Wednesday shows Harris’s family worried about him, Sack said.

The family, who was aware he had a weapon and was concerned for him, went through his mail, checked his room and monitored his interactions with other people, police said.

“They had been working with mental health institutions in the local area,” Sack told reporters. “They hooked him up with medical professionals. They’d been supportive of him … They’ve done everything that they could have possibly done, but sometimes it’s not enough.”

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