Just nine days before a gunman, 19, opened fire in a St. Louis high school, killing two and injuring others, his mother contacted police to request that they take away his rifle.

That’s according to St. Louis interim Police Commissioner Michael Sack, who said during a news conference that the teenager’s parents had done “everything that they possibly could have done,” including getting him therapy, medication and in-patient treatment as he struggled with mental health issues.

According to NBC News, “the gunman’s mother found an AR-15-style rifle in the family’s home and wanted it removed.”

Per CNN, “Officers responded and determined at that time the suspect was lawfully permitted to possess the firearm,” a statement, which was obtained by CNN affiliate KMOV, reads. “A third party known to the family was contacted and took possession of the firearm so that it would no longer be stored in the home.”

Officials said it was not clear how the suspect got the weapon back, but confirmed it was the firearm used in the shooting Monday at Central Visual and Performing Arts High School in St. Louis. The Associated Press reported that the 19-year-old shooter, who was shot by police in a gun battle and subsequently died at the hospital, had the rifle and “what appeared to be more than 600 rounds of ammunition” when he forced his way into the school.

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The assailant graduated from the school the year before and was not deterred by the presence of security guards near the doors, which were all locked. Officials have declined to say how he eventually entered the building, other than to note that it was by force.

After police were called to the house to remove the gun, NBC quoted Sack that the family worked with the police department to transfer the gun “to an adult who could legally possess one.” The article said that “the firearm was ultimately transferred to a third party known to the family.”

NBC said the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives is tracking how the shooter, Orlando Harris, obtained the gun in the first place. And officials are investigating how he got the gun back.

According to Sack at the news conference, “The mother, the adult daughter, they worked with him. They kind of had a system where they would track what might come in the mail, his interaction with others and try to make sure that he’s engaging people, that he feels loved.”

The health teacher and the sophomore

Two from the school died in the attack: health teacher Jean Kuczka, 61, and sophomore Alexzandria Bell, 15.

“Alexzandria was a bright, charismatic girl with a sassy personality who was working hard to improve her dancing and her grades,” the school’s principal, Kacy Seals-Shahid, told the AP.

As the Deseret News earlier reported, she loved dancing and was part of the school’s junior varsity dance team.

News reports say that Kuczka was shot when the gunman entered her classroom and she placed herself between him and the students. Her daughter told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch how much her mom loved her students.

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Seven students, all 15 or 16 years old, were hurt in the attack or as they tried to escape. Injuries included minor gunshot or graze wounds, bruises and a broken ankle from jumping out a window. None of the injuries were life-threatening.

The motive

Sack said the gunman left behind a note. In it, as AP reported, he “lamented that he had no friends, no family, no girlfriend and a life of isolation.” The shooter himself said it was the “perfect storm for a mass shooter.”

Central Visual and Performing Arts shares a building with another magnet school, Collegiate School of Medicine and Bioscience. Central has nearly 400 students, while Collegiate’s enrollment exceeds 330.

According to CNN, “As the investigation continues and students and teachers mourn Kuczka and Bell, it make take two months before they’re allowed back on campus, school officials have said.”

According to The Guardian, “There have been 40 school shootings in the U.S. this year resulting in injuries or deaths, according to a tracker compiled by Education Week, including the massacre at Robb elementary school in Uvalde, Texas, in May in which 19 children and two teachers died.”

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