ST. LOUIS — A gunman walked into a business school in downtown St. Louis on Tuesday and shot an administrator in the chest before shooting himself, police said.
Police Chief Sam Dotson said the shooting happened about 2 p.m. at the Stevens Institute of Business and Arts. The administrator was a man in his 40s who was shot in his office.
Dotson said the gunman was a student at the school who had no history of threatening behavior, and the motive wasn't clear. Both the administrator and the gunman were in surgery. Dotson didn't know whether their wounds were life-threatening.
Police arrived within a minute of the call about the shooting. Students were huddled under desks and in closets. The administrator had made it to an elevator; the gunman was found injured in a stairwell.
"We've trained all of our officers in active shooter response," Dotson said. Officers hurriedly escorted out students and staff and then made sure no other gunmen were inside.
Among the students taking refuge was 24-year-old Britanee Jones. She declined to speak to reporters, but her mother, Angae Lowery, said Jones texted a friend, who alerted Lowery.
"She sent a text message and said a gunman was in the building," Lowery said after greeting her daughter with a screech of joy and a hug. "She saw him (the gunman) go by the classroom.
"I'm so happy to see her come out of there," Lowery said. I'm relieved."
The school with about 180 students is located in a historic building in the downtown's loft district. It began as Patricia Stevens College in 1947 and offers classes in business administration, tourism and hospitality, paralegal studies, fashion, and retail and interior design.
Messages left Tuesday with the school's telephone operator and the college's president, Cynthia Musterman, were not immediately returned.