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St. Louis School Shooter Regained Gun After Police Arranged Removal

The 19-year-old who killed a teacher and a 15-year-old student in a shooting spree at a St Louis high school on Monday had the assault rifle he used confiscated by police a few days before his attack. reports The Guardian. Police Commissioner Michael Sack ,confirmed that shortly before the school shooting, officers were called to the man’s home by his parents who were worried about him and wanted the AR-15 style rifle removed. “The mother at the time wanted it out of the house,” Sack said. Officers took the view the teenager was lawfully permitted to possess the weapon despite substantial evidence of troubled behavior. His family told police they had arranged for the teen to be treated for mental health issues, had put him on medication and had even overseen a stay in a mental health institution.

Police arranged for the rifle to be taken away by a “third party known to the family”, but that the teenager took it back. It is not known how he regained possession, though police confirmed it was the gun used in Monday’s deadly attack. Sack said the family “made every effort that they felt that they reasonably could. I think that’s why the mother is so heartbroken over the families that paid for his episode." The case underlines the difficulties with implementation of “red flag” laws that seek to take guns from individuals wrestling with mental health and other problems. In June, Congress passed a bill that included tighter background checks on people aged 18 to 21 trying to buy guns, involving a review of mental health and juvenile records held by state and local law enforcement. In St Louis case, police had been called to the shooter’s house at least six times. Two of the call-outs were in July, for an accident and a suicide attempt.


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