A gunman who killed a student and teacher at a Missouri high school was armed with an AR-15 style rifle and more than 600 rounds.

Orlando Harris, 19, had magazines strapped to his chest, some in a bag, and other ammunition that police found dumped in the stairwells around Central Visual and Performing Arts High School in St Louis.

Alexandria Bell, 15, a student, and Jean Kuczka, 61, a physical education teacher, died and seven other students were injured in the shooting on Monday.

Harris, who graduated from the school last year, was eventually killed in a firefight with police.

He left a handwritten note explaining why he carried out the attack.

In the message he complained of having no friends, family, girlfriend and having lived a life of isolation which he called the “perfect storm for a mass shooter”.

The attack forced students to barricade doors, curl up in classroom corners, jump out of windows and run out of the building in search of safety.

Several people inside the school said they heard Harris shout, “You will all die!”

Michael Sack, the police commissioner, urged people to come forward when someone who appears to be suffering from mental illness or distress starts “talking about buying firearms or causing harm to others.”

Andre Bell, the father of the dead student, described his daughter as his “everything”.

“She was joyful, wonderful and just a great person,” he said.

“She was the girl I loved to see and from whom I loved to hear.

“No matter how I felt, I could always talk to her and it was all right. That was my baby.”

“It could be so much worse”

Abbey Kuczka said her mother Jean was killed when the gunman walked into his classroom and moved between him and his students.

“My mother loved children,” Ms. Kuczka said. “She loved her students. I know that her students looked at her as if she were their mom.”

The seven injured students are 15 or 16 years old and are said to be in stable condition.

Police said four suffered gunshot wounds or grazes, two were bruised and one had a broken ankle, apparently from jumping out of the three-story building.

Harris was armed with nearly a dozen 30-round high-capacity magazines, Sack said.

“This could have been a lot worse,” he said.

The school shooting was the 40th this year resulting in injury or death, according to Education Week, the highest in any year since it began tracking shootings in 2018.

The deadly attacks include the shooting at Robb Elementary School’s UvaldeTexas in May when 19 children and two teachers died.

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