星期一, a 19-year-old gunman walked into Central Visual and Performing Arts High School in 英石. 路易斯, 莫。, and opened fire, killing a beloved student and teacher and injuring seven others.
The gunman, who authorities said was a former student, was fatally shot by police shortly after he entered the high school. 周二, 英石. Louis Police Chief Mike Sack said during a 新闻发布会 that the shooter had an AR-15-style rifle and more than 600 弹药.
“If you’re aware of an individual who appears to be suffering from some kind of mental illness or distress, and they begin speaking about purchasing firearms or causing harm to others, we encourage you to reach out to somebody and report that so that we can get help to that individual,” Sack said.
The two fatal victims have been identified as 15-year-old Alexzandria Bell and 61-year old Jean Kuczka.
Alexzandria Bell was only 15 years old when she was fatally shot at her high school on Monday.
“She was a beautiful young lady,” a woman told the 英石. 路易斯邮报. “She loved art.”
女人, who asked to remain unidentified, told the outlet Alexzandria was a dance student of hers.
Fellow student and sophomore at CVPA High School Je’rya Luster and her sister, freshman Je’rese Luster, 告诉 英石. 路易斯邮报 they were in the Schnucks supermarket parking lot near the school, where hundreds of students had been evacuated, when they found out Alexzandria was killed.
“I just want her to come back,” Je’rya told to outlet.
“She was always smiling,” Je’rese said about her friend.
一种 GoFundMe has been created to help Alexzandria’s family with funeral costs.
“[他们] lost a beautiful, 才华横溢, and charismatic young soul name Alexzandria Bell,” the description reads.
A 61-year-old mother of five and grandmother of six who loved Jimmy Buffett, Snoopy and her family and students was one of the victims of Monday morning’s shooting.
Jean Kuczka began her career with the St. Louis Public Schools in 2002 and began working at CVPA in 2008. She was a health and physical education teacher.
“My mom was super passionate about kids,” Jean’s daughter, Abbey Kuczka, 27, 告诉人们. “She loved making a difference, and she always taught us how to be a team.”
Abbey’s father was told by a family friend’s granddaughter — who attended the school and was in Jean’s classroom during the shooting — that Jean was shielding her students and helping them escape through a window when she was killed.
Abbey is one of five siblings, and during her 27 年, she has made countless memories with her beloved mother. This past Sunday, Abbey visited Tower Rock on the Mississippi River with her mother and father, Steve Kuczka.
“We ended up sitting in traffic for two hours, and it’s crazy down there because no one is directing traffic, but it was like a Godsend, like God said, ‘You need this time to sit in traffic with your mom,'” Abbey said.
Abbey says she and her mother always did something together on the weekend — whether it was try a new restaurant, visit a craft show or decorate Jean’s classroom before a new school year.
“The vibe I got from her classroom was that it’s a safe environment that people can feel comfortable in and relate if they need anything from her,” Abbey said.
Throughout her decades-long career as a teacher, Jean formed a mutual respect with her students that never went unnoticed.
“My mom gave respect to everyone, and I think that’s what made her stand out, because she respected every single student she had and students felt that, so they also respected her,” Abbey says.
Jean was also passionate about helping to find a cure for juvenile diabetes after one of her sons was diagnosed with it at 10 岁. Each year, she participated in a bike ride to help raise money for research. After raising the funds during a trivia night this September, Jean was supposed to go to Amelia Island in December for the bike ride.
Jean had a tight bond with the rest of her children, 也. In July of this year, she helped her youngest daughter, Isabelle, pick out her wedding dress for an October 2023 婚礼.
This Christmas, the Kuczka family planned to go to Pompano Beach, 佛罗里达州. to escape the cold Missouri winter for a short time like they did every year.
“That was one of my mom’s favorite places to go,” Abbey says.
Jean was “passionate, 爱, and an advocate, whether it be for her family, her students or all around,” Abbey says. “She just wanted the best for everyone.”