News / USA

Nevada Student Shoots Teacher Dead; Wounds 2 Before Killing Self

A Sparks Middle School student cries and is comforted after being released from Agnes Risley Elementary School, where some students were evacuated to after a shooting at the school in Sparks, Nevada, Oct. 21, 2013.
A Sparks Middle School student cries and is comforted after being released from Agnes Risley Elementary School, where some students were evacuated to after a shooting at the school in Sparks, Nevada, Oct. 21, 2013.
TEXT SIZE - +
VOA News
— A 12-year-old student armed with a handgun shot and killed a teacher and wounded two classmates before killing himself at his middle school in Nevada shortly before classes began on Monday, law enforcement officials said.
 
Both of the wounded students from Sparks Middle School were rushed to Renown Regional Medical Center in nearby Reno, where one of them underwent emergency surgery, said Tom Miller, acting Sparks police chief. Reports inidcate that the students are now in stable condition. One was shot in the shoulder, the other in the abdomen.
 
The Reno Gazette-Journal newspaper identified the slain school staff member as 45-year-old math teacher Michael Landsberry, a military veteran, quoting the man's sister-in-law. Authorities did not immediately name the teacher. Landsberry died while trying to protect his students.
 
Witnesses described a chaotic scene at the school in the northwestern Nevada town of Sparks, located just east of Reno, after the gunfire erupted in an outdoor area as students were arriving for the school day.
 
“A kid started getting mad and he pulled out a gun and shoots my friend, one of my friends at least,” a seventh-grade student identified as Andrew told local KOLO-TV. “And then he walked up to a teacher and says back up, the teacher started backing up and he pulled the trigger.”
 
“The teacher was just lying there and he was limp, he didn't know what to do, he was just in a lot of pain,” he told KOLO.
 
“And me and five other friends went to him and said come on we've got to get him to safety. We picked him up, carried him a little bit far and we left him because our vice principal came along and said go, go, go get to safety, get to safety. So we left the teacher there and we went to safety,” Andrew said.
 
Family members of Landsberry described him as a hero who tried to persuade the young gunman to drop his weapon.
 
“To hear he was trying to protect those kids doesn't surprise me at all,” his sister-in-law, Chanda Landsberry told the Gazette-Journal. “He could have ducked and hid, but he didn't. That's not who he is.”
 
'Why Are You Laughing?'
 
A 13-year-old eighth grader named Kyle Nucum told the Gazette-Journal that he heard about half a dozen shots. Student Michelle Hernandez said she had seen the suspect before the shooting began.
 
“I heard him saying, 'Why you people making fun of me, why you laughing at me,”' Hernandez told the paper.
 
Sparks Mayor Geno Martini told a late-morning news conference that the shooting marked a tragic day for the city.

“I just want to reiterate again that the city itself is very safe and this is just an isolated incident," he said. "But it's very, very tragic and I'm saddened to be here to have to tell you this.”
 
Law enforcement officials said the student gunman opened fire at 7:16 a.m. local time, about 15 minutes before classes were scheduled to begin at the school, which serves about 700 seventh and eighth grade students.
 
Robinson said it was too early to tell if the boy, who was not immediately identified by authorities, was targeting anyone in the shooting rampage. Authorities also declined to immediately speculate on his motives.

The local police chief said between 150 and 200 officers responded to the incident.

Classes and after school activities were canceled at Sparks Middle School for the rest of the week and counselors would be on hand to work with students and staff members who were traumatized by the shooting, the school district said.

The shooting was the latest in a string of deadly gun incidents across the United States. It came nearly a year after a shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut in which 20 students and six adults died.

Some information in this report was contributed by Reuters.

You May Like

Multimedia Anti-Keystone XL Protests Continue

Demonstrators are worried about pipeline's effect on climate change, their traditional way of life, health and safety More

Thailand's Political Power Struggle Continues

Court gave Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra until May 2 to prepare her defense over abuse of power charges but uncertainty remains over election timing More

Malaysia Plane Search Tests Limits of Ocean Mapping Technology

Expert tells VOA existing equipment’s maximum operating depth is around 6 kilometers as operation continues on ocean bed for any trace of MH370 More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Messagei
X
Penelope Poulou
April 22, 2014 5:53 PM
Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Message

Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pro-Russian Separatists Plan 'Federalization Referendum' in Eastern Ukraine

Pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine say they plan to move forward next month with a referendum vote for greater autonomy, despite the Geneva agreement reached with Russia, the U.S. and Ukraine to end the political conflict. VOA's Brian Padden reports from the city of Donetsk in Eastern Ukraine.
Video

Video Pope Francis Hopes Dual Canonizations Will Reconcile Church

On April 27, two popes - John the XXIII and John Paul II - will be made saints in a ceremony at St. Peter’s Square. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky says the dual canonization is part of the current pope’s program to reconcile liberals and conservatives in the Roman Catholic Church.
Video

Video In Capturing Nature's Majesty, Film Makes Case for Its Survival

French filmmaker Luc Jacquet won worldwide acclaim for his 2005 Academy Award-winning documentary "March of the Penguins". Now Jacquet is back with a new film that takes movie-goers deep into the heart of a tropical rainforest - not only to celebrate its grandeur, but to make the case for its survival. VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Boston Marathon Bittersweet for Many Runners

Monday's running of the Boston Marathon was bittersweet for many of the 36,000 participants as they finished the run that was interrupted by a double bombing last year. Many gathered along the route paid respect to the four people killed as a result of two bombings near the finish line. VOA's Carolyn Presutti returned to Boston this year to follow two runners, forever changed because of the crimes.
Video

Video International Students Learn Film Production in World's Movie Capital

Hollywood - which is part of Los Angeles - is the movie capital of the world, and many aspiring filmmakers go there in hopes of breaking into the movie business. Mike O'Sullivan reports that regional universities are also a magnet for students who hope to become producers or directors.
Video

Video Pacific Rim Trade Deal Proves Elusive

With the U.S.-led war in Iraq ended and American military involvement in Afghanistan winding down, President Barack Obama has sought to pivot the country's foreign policy focus towards Asia. One aspect of that pivot is the negotiation of a free-trade agreement among 12 Pacific Rim nations. But as Obama leaves this week on a trip to four Asian countries he has found it very difficult to complete the trade pact. VOA's Ken Bredemeier has more from Washington.
Video

Video Autistic Adults Face Housing, Job Challenges

Many parents of children with disabilities fear for the future of their adult child. It can be difficult to find services to help adults with disabilities - physical, mental or emotional - find work or live on their own. The mother of an autistic boy set up a foundation to advocate for the estimated 1.2 million American adults with autism, a developmental disorder that causes communication difficulties and often social difficulties. VOA's Faiza Elmasry reports.
AppleAndroid