ST. LOUIS (AP) — A part-time student strode into the office of a longtime administrator at a downtown St. Louis business school Tuesday and shot the man in the chest, creating panic in the school before turning the gun on himself, police said.
Both men were in surgery Tuesday afternoon at Saint Louis University Hospital. Police Chief Sam Dotson said he was optimistic both would survive. Hospital officials declined Tuesday evening to comment on the men's conditions and a message left with St. Louis police was not returned.
Police did not identify either man, but Dotson said the administrator was a longtime employee in his late 40s. He said the suspect had been attending Stevens Institute of Business & Arts off and on for four years and had no history of threats or violence.
Dotson said police arrived to find a "chaotic" scene with many students running out of the five-story historic building in the downtown loft district of St. Louis. About 40 to 50 people were in the building when gunfire broke out, and police evacuated them before starting a floor-by-floor search with tactical teams and dogs.
They found the administrator, who had been shot in his fourth-floor office, near an elevator, Dotson said. Officers found the suspect in a stairwell between the third and fourth floors, he said. Police found a handgun, but a spokeswoman wasn't sure where.
The motive wasn't clear, but Dotson said the shooter apparently sought out the victim.
"This did not appear to be random," Dotson said. "It appeared to be targeted."
Britanee Jones, 24, hid under a desk while her classmates ducked into closets or ran out of the building. Her mother, Angae Lowery, raced to the school to make sure her daughter was safe.