“Please join me in praying for all affected by the shooting at Central Visual and Performing Arts high school in St. Louis,” the prelate tweeted. “We seek God‘s guidance and comfort as we try to make sense of this tragedy.”
Authorities say officers shot and killed the alleged gunman, who remains unnamed, as officers were collecting information about the incident.
An adult woman and a teenage student were killed in the incident, said Interim Commissioner of the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department Lt. Col. Michael Sack. He said authorities responded to the school within minutes of reports of the shooting and entered an area where they heard gunfire and killed the suspect, who appeared to be about 20 years of age, Sack said.
At least eight people were taken to the hospital with various injuries, he said, but the victims of the subsequent trauma are more than the injured and the dead. They extend to the students who escaped, officers and other first responders who saw the carnage, he said.
Some news reports say students were jumping out of windows and erected barricades as the shooting unfolded.
“It’s terrible to think about. Here is this place where kids go to learn, to grow, to develop and something like this happened, which is heartbreaking,” Sack said during a news conference.
He said officers entered as “as kids were fleeing out of the building” and police were trying to locate where the gunfire was coming from.
“They talked to some of the kids who told them that there was a shooter with a long gun,” he said. “The officers began to clear the building looking for the shooter. Upon hearing gunfire, they ran to the gunfire, located the shooter, and engaged that shooter. In an exchange of gunfire, the suspect was struck.”