Oct. 27 (UPI) — The family of suspected St. Louis school shooter, Orlando Harris, took away the AR-15-style rifle that was used in the crime, but Harris was still able to get ahold of the weapon prior to the shooting, officials said on Wednesday.
On Oct. 15 police were called to the suspect’s home because the “suspect’s mother had located a firearm in the home and wanted it removed,” Sgt. Charles Wall of the St. Louis Police Department said in a statement.
“While it is not yet clear when or how the suspect came to be in possession of the firearm after this incident, we can confirm that the firearm involved in this incident is the firearm used in the shooting Monday,” police said.
Interim St. Louis Police Chief Michael Sack said the serial number on the gun had been given to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives to trace.
Authorities concluded that Harris legally owned the rifle and that it had been handed over to a “third party known to the family” so it was no longer stored in the home.
The shooting on Monday at Central Visual Performing Arts High School resulted in the deaths of one teacher, one student and Harris, who was killed in an exchange of fire with police.
Sack said on Tuesday that Harris had left behind a notebook that outlined his “desire to conduct a school shooting.” He emphasized that the family had tried on multiple occasions to get Harris the help he needed.
“They were constantly in touch with medical providers. They made every effort they felt that they reasonably could,” Sack said Wednesday, adding “sometimes that’s not enough.”