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.
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

Unpaid Kurdish Fighters Sign of Economic Woes

Sharp cuts in Kurdistan's budget by Baghdad, falling oil revenue, coping with refugees, inflated public sector have hit regional economy hard More

Koreas Exchange List of Envoys for Family Reunion Talks

Officials will discuss date, venue and number of participants for reunion; Seoul hopes to hold event late this month More

China Targets 197 in Online Speech Crackdown

Nearly 200 punished for 'spreading rumors' online in ongoing crackdown on free speech More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Calais School Offers Another Face of Europe’s Migrant Crisisi
X
Lisa Bryant
September 02, 2015 6:19 PM
Europe is facing mounting criticism over how it’s handling its biggest migration crisis since World War II. But not all Europeans believe building walls or passing repressive policies are the answer. A school for migrants in the French port city of Calais, is opening doors and building bonds across nationalities. VOA's Lisa Bryant reports.
Video

Video Calais School Offers Another Face of Europe’s Migrant Crisis

Europe is facing mounting criticism over how it’s handling its biggest migration crisis since World War II. But not all Europeans believe building walls or passing repressive policies are the answer. A school for migrants in the French port city of Calais, is opening doors and building bonds across nationalities. VOA's Lisa Bryant reports.
Video

Video Russia-Japan Relations Cool as Putin Visits China for WWII Anniversary

Russian President Vladimir Putin is in Beijing for commemorations of the 70th anniversary of China's WWII victory over Japan. Putin is expected to visit Japan later this year, but tensions between Tokyo and Moscow over islands disputed since the war, and sanctions over Ukraine, could pour cold water on the plan. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Kurdish Fighters on IS Frontline Ready for Offensive

Finger on the trigger, the Kurdish Peshmerga soldier stared across the dust at a village taken over by Islamic State extremists. The Kurdistan’s Khazir frontline, just 45 minutes from the Islamic State stronghold of Mosul. And at this point, the militants were less than two kilometers away. VOA's Sharon Behn reports.
Video

Video Yemen ‘on Brink of Disaster’ as Medical Shortages Soar

Aid agencies warn Yemen is on the brink of humanitarian disaster – with up to half a million children facing severe malnutrition, and hospitals running out of basic medicines. There are fears Yemen's civil war could escalate as the coalition led by Saudi Arabia tries to drive back Houthi rebels, who seized control of much of the country earlier this year. Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Apps Helping Kenyan Businesses Stay Ahead of Counterfeiters

Counterfeit goods in Kenya cost the government as much as $1 billion each year in lost tax revenues. The fake goods also hurt entrepreneurs who find it hard to carve out a niche in the market and retain customers. But as Lenny Ruvaga reports from Nairobi, information technology is being used to try to beat the problem.
Video

Video Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOA

Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video War, Drought Threaten Iraq's Marshlands

Iraq's southern wetlands are in crisis. These areas are the spawning ground for Gulf fisheries, a resting place for migrating wildfowl, and source of livelihood for fishermen and herders. Faith Lapidus has more.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Rebuilding New Orleans' Music Scene

Ten years after Hurricane Katrina inundated New Orleans, threatening to wash away its vibrant musical heritage along with its neighborhoods, the beat goes on. As Bronwyn Benito and Faith Lapidus report, a Musicians' Village is preserving the city's unique sound.
Video

Video In Russia, Auto Industry in Tailspin

Industry insiders say country relies too heavily on imports as inflation cuts too many consumers out of the market. Daniel Schearf has more from Moscow.
Video

Video Scientist Calls Use of Fetal Tissue in Medical Research Essential

An anti-abortion group responsible for secret recordings of workers at a women's health care organization claims the workers shown are offering baby parts for sale, a charge the organization strongly denies. While the selling of fetal tissue is against the law in the United States, abortion and the use of donated fetal tissue for medical research are both legal. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.

VOA Blogs