'Hero' teacher, student gunman dead in Nevada
A Nevada middle school student shot and killed a teacher and wounded
two students Monday before fatally shooting himself in the nation's
latest horrific act of school violence.
Police said the teacher died trying to protect students.
got video we have to review, people we've got to talk to," said Tom
Robinson, deputy chief of Reno police. "But in my estimation, he is a
hero. We do know he was trying to intervene."
The Reno Gazette-Journal
said the victim, 45-year-old Michael Landsberry, was also a member of
the Nevada Army National Guard. Landsberry was a popular math teacher at
Sparks Middle School, the Journal said.
Chanda Landsberry said
her brother-in-law, who received bachelor's degree in Education from the
University of Nevada, Reno in 2001, loved teaching.
"He loved his school kids. He loved the Guard," she said. "It defined him."
Eighth-grader Kyle Nucum, 13, said he was on an outside basketball court when the shooting happened about 7:15 a.m. local time.
heard a pop, like a loud pop, and everybody was screaming and the
teacher came to investigate," Kyle said. "I thought it was a firecracker
at first, but the student was pointing a gun at the teacher. After the
teacher told him to put it down, and the student fired a shot ... at the
teacher and the teacher fell and everybody ran away."
Kyle said he and other students heard four or five more shots as they ran across a field, where a woman let them into her home.
Michelle Hernandez said she saw the shooter Monday morning. "I heard
him saying, 'Why you people making fun of me, why you laughing at me,?"
Eighth-grader Seth Hinchberger said the shooter
"pulled out a weapon and just shot it. And scared all of us and we just
Seth said they ran into a hall and created a
pile, "guys in the front … for the safety of the girls." He said the
shooter came over and appeared to aim at the pile, but was distracted by
a teacher and started shooting in another direction.
students shared the pain of his loss in an outpouring of heartfelt
messages on social media, and shared silly photos of their teacher,
showing his playfulness in the classroom.
Michael Landsberry kept a
math website to help his students get through each year called "Welcome
to Mr. L's Math Class for 2013-2014."
"I have one classroom rule
and it is very simple: 'Thou Shall Not Annoy Mr. L,'" the site said. "I
am looking forward to getting to know and teach all of you this year. I
know that at times the year will be tough and boring but I will do my
best to make the lessons exciting."
Some of his students told reporters that Landsberry loved Batman so much that many used the title as his nickname.
Rambo, spokeswoman for Renown Regional Hospital, said the hospital had
received two male patients, both minors and both initially in critical
condition. Their conditions later were upgraded, one to fair condition,
the other to serious condition.
A Sparks Middle School student cries
with family members after being released from Agnes Risley Elementary
School. Some students were evacuated after a shooting Oct. 21, 2013, at
Sparks Middle School in Sparks, Nev.
Kevin Clifford, AP
Deputy Police Chief Tom Robinson said 150 to 200 personnel secured the
school and the surrounding area. Addressing parents during a press
conference, he said "I can tell them to rest assured. The schools are
safe. The rest of the city is safe."
Sparks Middle School, in a working-class section of the city of 90,000, has about 700 students in the seventh and eighth grades.
is just a very sad day for us, a very tragic day," said Pedro Martinez,
the superintendent of the Washoe County School District.
Sparks Mayor Geno Martini praised the emergency response during a press conference Monday.
city itself is very safe, this is just an isolated incident," Martini
said. "It's very, very tragic, I'm saddened to have to be here."
Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval issued a statement:
was deeply saddened to learn of the horrific shooting at Sparks Middle
School this morning. My administration is receiving regular updates and
the Nevada Highway Patrol is assisting at the scene. Kathleen and I
extend our thoughts and prayers to the victims and those affected by
these tragic events."
Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nev., also released this
statement expressing condolences to the victims, their families and
everyone at the school.
McAndrew and Du n report for the
Gazette-Journal. Contibuting: Guy Clifton, Steve Timko, Susan Skorupa,
Martha Bellisle, Emerson Marcus, Gazette-Journal; John Bacon, USA TODAY;