‘I was scared to death:’ Officer recalls opening fire on gunman during CVPA school shooting
ST. LOUIS (KMOV) - Monday mornings will never be the same for Capt. Misty Dobynes. She was one of the first armed officers to confront an active shooter at Central Visual and Performing Arts (CVPA) High School.
“I could hear over the radio. He said they shooting in the main building,” said Dobynes, St. Louis Public Schools command supervisor.
The gunman was armed with an AR-15-style weapon and 600 rounds of ammunition. He killed a student and teacher in addition to injuring others.
“My protection instincts kicked in when I left the lot and put my vest on”, she told News 4.
The school officer followed her nose and ears to find the shooter, a former student with the intent to inflict harm.
“I can just hear pow, pow, pow, pow,” recalled Capt. Dobynes. “I can smell gunpowder, so we followed the trail of gunpowder.”
She discovered the suspect, 19-year-old Orlando Harris, on the third floor. She took out her gun and fired.
“I never in my life-and I’m 55-thought I would be inside of a school and having to use my gun,” Dobynes said. “I was scared to death because I didn’t know what would happen but I know I didn’t want to get hurt. I know I didn’t want to die.”
Saint Louis Public Schools Safety Director DeAndre Davis was also there. He helped rescue students trying to get out of the building to escape the shooting.
“When I saw kids jumping out the window, that was my go,” said Davis. “I mean hearing them scream, ‘Help me. Please help me. Come and get me. I can’t get out.’ It was a no-brainer.”
School officials are also acknowledging an unarmed security officer who sounded the alarm, locked the doors, and alerted police.
“Those doors were barricaded, and those kids were in a space where they were safe,” said Davis. “It was because an unarmed officer did that while taking gunfire.”
Both officers credit their training for the quick response. Their life-saving actions turned them into heroes in the midst of tragedy.
“Almost 700 people got out of that place alive,” Davis said.
“I knew that it was kids in the building. I knew that there was people that I worked with in that building so it was just something I had to do,” she said.
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