United States: Teen among 6 killed in Central Visual and Performing Arts High School, St Louis
In a shocking incident, a gunman broke into a school in the United States and opened fire indiscriminately at the students and the teacher. The attack which occurred just after 9 a.m. on Monday at Central Visual and Performing Arts High School became the cause of panic for the students who then huddled in the corners of their classrooms and jumped from windows trying to figure out a means to escape.
The attacker wounded six other people other than a teenage girl and a teacher and shouted, “You are all going to die!” The police however killed him in an exchange of fire. Speaking at a press conference, Interim St. Louis Police Chief Michael Sack said that fast actions by a security guard, along with other police officers who “ran to the gunfire” helped end the shooting before more people were harmed. Michael Sack said the shooter was about 20 years but they could not identify him or his motive behind the incident. The dead teacher has been identified as Jean Kuczka.
Kelvin Adams, Superintendent of Central Visual and Performing Arts High School, said that seven security guards were in the school at the time of the attack and each had been stationed at an entrance of the locked building. Adding to this, Interim St. Louis Police Chief Michael Sack said that one of the guards stationed at the entrance of the locked building spotted the shooter and informed the authorities of the school who then contacted the police. “It was that timely response by that security officer, the fact that the door did cause pause for the suspect, that bought us some time,” said Michael Sack.
The shooting incident at CVPA High School is the fortieth in a series of such incidents which happened this year, a tally by Education Week states. Few of the six people hospitalized in Monday's attack suffered wounds from gunshots while others were struck by shrapnel.
Raymond Parks, one of the teachers, was about to take a dance class for the juniors when a man dressed in black attire approached him. At first, he thought that the man was carrying a stick but later realized that it was a gun. “The kids started screaming and running and scrambling. He walked directly into the two doors and pointed the gun over at me because I was in the front,” Parks said. He further added that the shooter pointed the gun away from him and let Parks and the dozen or so students leave the room.“That's what I don't understand. He let me go,” said Parks who sounded surprised.
Pressing on the need to take action against gun violence in the US, White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said, “Every day that the Senate fails to send an assault weapons ban to the president's desk or waits to take another other common sense actions, is a day too late for families and communities impacted by gun violence."
In order to monitor the upcoming state of affairs, the district has closed all of its schools and suspended their activities.
(With PTI inputs)
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