A St. Louis school district is considering whether to hire a special unit to help investigate potential hate crimes in response to a manifesto by a gunman who shot five people dead in a school district in St. Joseph County.
The St. Clair County Sheriff’s Office confirmed Thursday that the St. Charles County Sheriff and the St Louis County Police Department are investigating the gunman, who they said was armed with a handgun.
St. Louis County Sheriff Robert White said that the gunman was in a relationship with a student at St. Lukes Catholic School, and that the shooter told the student he had a gun.
The sheriff’s office said in a news release that investigators have received information that “the gunman may have been in a romantic relationship with the victim.”
White said that there was no immediate information about the motive.
A statement from the St Lucie Schools Superintendent, Jennifer Pritchard, said the school district was aware of the investigation and “will be consulting with the district’s community to help inform the community and our community as we continue to investigate this horrific incident.”
Pritchard said that St. Lucia Public Schools has a zero-tolerance policy for any type of discrimination and that “all students should be safe, protected and welcomed at school.”
“We are in the process of evaluating the threat assessment and will determine if it is necessary to hire the Stlucie School District’s special task force,” Pritcher said in the statement.
The sheriff’s department did not provide details about the school, including the name of the district, the date or time of the shooting or the school’s name.
The school district said in its news release it has received no reports of any threats.
The gunman is a student who had been in the classroom since October and who has been a part of the school community since 2009, the statement said.
It said the gunman told the victim that he had “a gun” in his room and that he was going to shoot a classmate and “anyone that would not stand up for themselves.”
The statement did not say whether the gunman or the student was shot during the attack.
St. Jude Medical Center confirmed Thursday afternoon that it had been treating a student with a gunshot wound to the neck.
The hospital said it was not immediately known whether the shooter was shot by a police officer or someone else.