Teacher dead, two in critical condition after school shooting near Reno
DENVER — A beloved math teacher was dead and two people were in critical condition Monday following a shooting at Sparks Middle School outside Reno, Nev.
The shooter, apparently a student, used a handgun taken from his parents in the attack, according to a federal law enforcement source who has been briefed on the situation. The shooter then used the handgun to shoot and kill himself.
The slain teacher was Mike Landsberry, Sparks Mayor Geno Martini told CNN. Landsberry was a U.S. Marine Corps veteran who served overseas.
Two students were also injured. One underwent surgery, and the other is “doing well,” a police spokesman said.
The motive in the shooting was unclear.
“As you can imagine, the best description is chaos,” said Tom Robinson, deputy chief of the Reno Police Department. “It’s too early to say whether he was targeting specific people or just going on an indiscriminate shooting spree.”
I’ll always remember all the stuff you did for me, I’ll never forget you Mr.Landsberry pic.twitter.com/aJ7ZUBiAAU
— Yessenia (@AyoYesenia__) October 21, 2013
A 13-year-old student said he saw a fellow student open fire on Landsberry.
“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,” the student said.
The initial call came in about 7:15 a.m. local time. Radio traffic indicated that a teacher was reportedly down. Emergency radio traffic described an active shooter – a Hispanic male student wearing a school uniform.
Authorities said students were being taken to a nearby high school to meet their parents. School was canceled for the day at Sparks Middle School and nearby Agnes Risley Elementary, officials said.
“I was deeply saddened to learn of the horrific shooting at Sparks Middle School this morning,” Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval said in a statement. “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.”
The school was also the site of a fatal shooting in 2009.
The shooting comes months after a gunman killed 26 people at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, igniting nationwide debate over gun violence and school safety.
The mother of a student killed in December’s shooting in Newtown said Monday’s shooting was reminder of the need to find solutions to keep students safe.
“The unthinkable has happened yet again, this time in Sparks, Nevada,” Nicole Hockley said in a statement. “Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims, their families, and the children of Sparks Middle School, who today came face to face with violence that no child should ever experience. It’s moments like this that demand that we unite as parents to find common sense solutions that keep our children — all children — safe, and prevent these tragedies from happening again and again.”
CNN contributed to this report.