Teen girl killed in St. Louis school shooting was set to visit dad in LA to celebrate 16th birthday

"I'm trying to stay strong for my kids," said the grieving father. "I can't fall apart right now."

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BySid Garcia via KABC logo
Wednesday, October 26, 2022
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Alexzandria Bell was looking forward to visiting Southern California to celebrate her 16th birthday, her grieving father said. Now, he's flying to St. Louis to help plan her funeral.

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- "Amazing."

That's the word Andre Bell used to describe his teen daughter Alexzandria.

The high school sophomore and her teacher were killed during a school shooting in St. Louis on Monday.

Bell said he and his daughter were close and said there was always an open line of communication between the two.

"When she would get in trouble in school, before the school would call me, she'd be like, 'Pops. This is what happened. This is my side of the story before they say something because I know our rule,'" he said. "Can't nobody tell us nothing about each other. We've got to say it first."

Bell lives Southern California and said he was looking forward to Alexzandria coming to visit him next week to celebrate her 16th birthday.

Sadly, Bell left to St. Louis Tuesday to start planning his daughter's funeral.

In their last conversation, he said they talked about Alexzandria's plans to go to culinary school while still in high school.

"I was with her," said Bell. "She put a lot of thought into her plan so I was behind her."

Meanwhile, a GoFundMe has been set up for Alexzandria's family.

Bell said it hasn't quite registered in his mind that the 4th of his nine children is gone.

"I'm trying to stay strong for my kids," said the father. "My kids, her mother ... I'm just trying to stay strong. I can't fall apart right now. It's not 'fall a part time' for me."

He said after Alexzandria's funeral, he'll find the time to be by himself and let out all of the emotions he's held inside.

Meanwhile, the 19-year-old who killed the teacher and Alexzandria was armed with an AR-15-style rifle and what appeared to be more than 600 rounds of ammunition, a police official said Tuesday.

Orlando Harris also left behind a handwritten note offering his explanation for the shooting Monday at Central Visual and Performing Arts High School, St. Louis Police Commissioner Michael Sack told reporters.

Sack read Harris' note in which the young man lamented that he had no friends, no family, no girlfriend and a life of isolation. Harris called it the "perfect storm for a mass shooter."

Sack said Harris had ammunition strapped to his chest and in a bag, and that additional magazines were found dumped in stairwells.

"This could have been much worse," Sack said.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.