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It could be weeks before SLPS students at schools involved in shooting return to campus

Dr. Kelvin Adams, St. Louis Public Schools superintendent, pauses while addressing the media after a school shooting that left two dead on Tuesday, Oct. 25, 2022, at St. Louis Public School’s headquarters in downtown St. Louis.
Brian Munoz
St. Louis Public Radio
Superintendent Kelvin Adams pauses while taking questions from the media Tuesday at a press conference at the headquarters of St. Louis Public Schools. He was addressing a school shooting that left two dead on Monday.

It will be at least a month before students at two St. Louis public high schools will be back in their building after a shooting Monday.

Superintendent Kelvin Adams announced Tuesday that Central Visual and Performing Arts High School and Collegiate School of Medicine and Bioscience will be off for the rest of this week so students and staff can receive counseling. They will return to class next week with virtual learning.

Two people were killed and seven more injured Monday in a shooting at the building that houses the two magnet schools at 3125 S. Kingshighway. Though it is no longer an active crime scene, Adams said the campus will need extensive repairs.

“Obviously, with the kind of things that happened in that building, we need to make sure that the building is ready to receive students, staff and the community as well,” Adams said. “So I would think that it is likely that it will be a longer than shorter period of time before those students are allowed to go back in that building for regular instruction.”

Photos of the school show shattered windows on the third floor. Matt Davis, president of the St. Louis Public Schools Board of Education, said the halls are riddled with bullet holes.

Police say the 19-year-old gunman had a high-powered rifle and more than 600 rounds of ammunition. Officers shot and killed him minutes after entering the building.

The shooting has rekindled debate about whether all security personnel at the district's schools should be armed. Guards assigned to the individual campuses do not have weapons, but the district has an armed response unit. Members of that unit went into the building alongside St. Louis police officers on Monday.

Davis said he believed district personnel did everything they could to keep the students in the building safe.

“The assailant had a high-powered rifle, so much so that he could force himself into a secured building,” he said. “The building is riddled with bullets. I don't know how much firepower it would take to stop that person.”

Police have not yet said how the shooter purchased the rifle used in the killing.

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Kate Grumke covers the environment, climate and agriculture for St. Louis Public Radio and Harvest Public Media.
Rachel is the justice correspondent at St. Louis Public Radio.