ST. LOUIS – As federal and local authorities continue to investigate just how Orlando Harris was able to obtain the AR-style rifle used in Monday’s mass shooting at Central Visual and Performing Arts High School, St. Louis police have revealed the shooter was thwarted from buying a weapon earlier this month.

According to Sgt. Charles Wall, a spokesman for the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department, Harris went to St. Charles on Oct. 8 to buy a firearm from a licensed dealer. An FBI background check blocked the sale at the point of purchase.

As a result, Harris bought the gun used in the shooting from a private seller, who legally purchased the rifle from a federally-licensed dealer in Dec. 2020.

Harris entered the school around 9:10 a.m. Monday with that rifle and more than 600 rounds of ammunition. He gunned down teacher Jean Kuczka and student Alexzandria Bell before being shot and killed by police. Seven other students were injured in the shooting.

Sgt. Wall said there are no existing laws that would have prevented the private sale.

In addition, the state of Missouri does not have a red flag law, Wall said, meaning St. Louis police officers lacked the authority to temporarily seize the rifle when Harris’ mother contacted them on Oct. 15.

Police said the Harris family located the gun at their home and wanted it removed. While police determined Harris lawfully possessed the rifle, a third party ended up taking possession of the weapon. But at some point between then and Monday, Oct. 24, Orlando Harris got the same gun back.