ST. LOUIS – A quick police response kept the mass shooter from firing most of his ammo. Seconds counted as a 19-year-old shooter was carrying more than 600 rounds of ammunition.

“This could’ve been a horrific scene, and it was not by the grace of God. Officers were as close as they were and responded in the manner that they did,” St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department (SLMPD) Police Chief Michael Sack said.

A teacher and a student were shot and killed Monday morning inside Central Visual & Performing Arts High School. Police said the shooter, Orlando Harris, was carrying an AR-15.

“In addition to the rifle, (he) brought in a large quantity of ammunition,” Sack said. “He had seven magazines of ammunition on a chest rig that he wore.”

Top Story: St. Louis shooter left handwritten note, brought 600 rounds of ammo

Police also documented a trail of ammunition and AR-type magazines in the hallways and stairwells leading to the third floor, the far end of the building where Harris started shooting.

The school reported seven security officers were on staff at the time – without guns. SLPS Director of Safety and Security, Deandre Davis, said that’s their policy.

“…for the normalcy of school, kids to not have officers armed in the school,” he said. “Our officers were there directing responding officers (who had guns).”

It was a massive and quick police response, partly because off-duty, uniformed officers happened to be attending a nearby funeral.

The chief said having the officers in the area was a “game-changer.”

“Yeah, it was critical. Six hundred rounds is a lot of ammunition,” Sack said.

Many responding officers did not normally work together. However, they were prepared because of ongoing active shooter training.

“They all knew what needed to be done. They created their teams, and they went in and took action,” Sack said.

Harris is a recent graduate who parked right next to the door, where he kicked to gain entry into the school. Sack read a handwritten note that investigators found in the killer’s car.

“He (the shooter) wrote, ‘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. This was the perfect storm for a mass shooter,’” Sack said at the news conference.

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