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2 St. Louis schools will remain closed 1 week after a teacher and student died in shooting

Holly Edgell via REUTERS

By Amir Vera and Chuck Johnston, CNN

Two St. Louis schools will remain closed going into this week, just days after a 19-year-old gunman forced his way on campus and began shooting, ultimately leaving a 15-year-old student and a teacher dead.

Central Visual and Performing Arts High School — where the shooting took place — and Collegiate School of Medicine and Bioscience will be closed all week, according to a news release from the St. Louis Public Schools. The two schools are within walking distance of one another.

“More information on the restart of the two schools will follow,” the district’s release read. “In the meantime, in-person and online counseling resources are being made available to staff, students, and families districtwide. This announcement pertains only to CVPA and CSMB. All other district schools remail open.”

The continual closure of the school comes almost one week after Orlando Harris fatally shot two people and wounded several others on October 24. The attack on the St. Louis high school is at least the 67th shooting to happen on American school grounds this year, marking another devastating moment in the growing reality of gun violence against students and educators.

Harris was armed with a high-powered firearm and had an arsenal of over 600 rounds of ammunition and more than a dozen high capacity magazines when he forced his way into the school and opened fire into the hallways. Harris graduated from Central Visual and Performing Arts High School in 2021.

Harris was pronounced dead at a local hospital after a gunfight with police who arrived minutes after the shooting, St. Louis police said last week.

The firearm used in the shooting was purchased legally from a private seller, police said. When Harris first tried to purchase a gun from a licensed dealer, the FBI background check blocked the sale, St. Louis Metropolitan Police Sgt. Charles Wall said last week. But Harris could still legally buy the rifle from a private individual who had bought the firearm from a licensed dealer in 2020, Wall said.

The day of the shooting, students and teachers scrambled to lock and barricade doors and take shelter as Harris continued his rampage, fatally shooting talented student Alexandria Bell, 15, and beloved teacher Jean Kuczka, 61, and wounding multiple others.

Kuczka’s funeral is scheduled for Monday at Kurtis Funeral Home in Affton, Missouri. Alexandria’s funeral is scheduled for November 5 at Prince of Peace Missionary Baptist Church in Berkeley, Missouri.

™ & © 2022 Cable News Network, Inc., a Warner Bros. Discovery Company. All rights reserved.

CNN’s Elizabeth Wolfe and Raja Razek contributed to this report.

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