'I made it out': Missouri high school student recalls escaping classroom after shooter's gun malfunctioned

'I made it out': Missouri high school student recalls escaping classroom after shooter's gun malfunctioned
Taniya Gholston described the terrifying shooting at her high school in St Louis, Missouri (Screenshot/St Loius Post-Dispatch video)

ST LOUIS, MISSOURI: A horrifying shooting in Missouri high school took the lives of a teacher, and a teenage student, and wounded seven others. The gunman who opened fire at a high school in St Louis, Missouri has been identified by St Louis police as 19-year-old Orlando Harris who is a former student of the school. Harris was dressed entirely in black as he entered the Central Visual & Performing Arts High School on Monday, October 24, 2022, at 9.11 am. He reportedly yelled, "You’re all gonna f***ing die" before going on his evil rampage. Harris was killed by police in an exchange of gunfire. 

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A young girl who was scared to death recalled the deadly incident and said that she was eye-to-eye with the shooter before his gun apparently got jammed, allowing her to escape. According to Police Chief Michael Sack, students were fleeing the school when officers arrived. He said Harris had a "long gun." He also had around a dozen 30-round ammunition magazines with him, CNN reported.

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Taniya Gholston,16, said that as the shooter entered her classroom, his gun got jammed and that saved her life. She was in a dance class at the time of the shooting. The 16-year-old told St Loius Post-Dispatch, "All I heard was two shots and he came in there with a gun. 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." She also said she heard the attacker saying, "I'm tired of this damn school."

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The doors of the school building were locked and it is unclear how the shooter entered. Sack refused to open up on how the shooter got in as he did not want "to give a blueprint" to other would-be shooters. "The gun laws in St. Louis are very broad," Sack said, according to the Daily Mail. "If someone walks down the street with a rifle, if we have no cause we can't go and talk to them. And that's one of the greatest challenges we face."

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As reported by MEAWW earlier, St Louis Public Schools said cops were able to "quickly" stop the suspect by gunning him down. He exchanged gunfire with police and later succumbed to his injuries. Harris had graduated from the school in 2021. "There are suspicions that he may be experiencing some mental illness," Sack said, adding that the motive was still being investigated. After that, according to Sack, detectives searched Harris' house. 

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Student Alexis Bell, 16, was pronounced dead at the scene and a 61-year-old physical education teacher Jean Kuczk later died at the hospital. A chilling video posted on TikTok shows students hiding under desks as gunshots ring outside the classroom. 

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Seven other 15- and 16-year-old students, four boys, and three girls, were injured and are in stable condition. Four students sustained gunshot or graze wounds, two had bruises, and one had a broken ankle, Politico reported. 

According to Sack, gunman Harris had no criminal history.

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