SPARKS, NV – Monday saw violence hit a Nevada middle school as a 12-year old boy opened fire in his teacher and classmates.
In a phone call to dispatch, a student relayed the gravity of the situation “This is a student at Sparks Middle School. Can you please send police out here? There’s a kid with a gun.”
Police chatter to dispatchers from the situation also captured the scene. “We got a guy with a gun. He’s down from a head shot wound. Could be our shooter. He’s out there on the basketball court.”
According to Washoe County School District Police Chief Mike Mieras, the seventh grader shot and killed math teacher Mike Landsberry. The intended target was shot in the shoulder while another student was shot in the abdomen.
The math teacher apparently approached the armed student on the playground. According to law enforcement, he was shot after the first student was shot and managed to save the lives of other students.
Mike Landsberry was an Alabama native, former Marine, and member of the Air National Guard reaching the rank of master sergeant and serving in Kuwait and Afghanistan. He got his degree in education from the University of Nevada in Reno.
According to Chief Mieras “Mr. Landsberry’s heroic actions, by stepping toward the shooter, allowed time for other students in the playground area to flee.”
“That was the kind of person that Michael was. He was the kind of person that if somebody needed help, he would be there,” said his brother Reggie Landsberry.
Several others describe the shooter as a generally a good kid who many would point to as the last person to get violent.
Sparks Deputy Police Chief Tom Miller said that law enforcement weren’t certain where the gun came from, but that it most likely belonged to the shooter’s parents.
Schoolmate Amaya Newton said that she believed the two wounded students—who are in stable condition—were friends of the shooter.
While law enforcement haven’t released or found any motives for shooting, they are said to be investigating all possibilities. Amaya Newton noted “I think he took out his bullying,” citing that she had noticed him being bullied before.
The shooting is one of a few that have occurred within the span of a few months. Last week a high school student in Austin, Texas shot and killed himself before other students. Roughly two months ago in August, a high school student in Winston-Salem, North Carolina shot a student in the neck, wounding him.
Amount of shootings have prompted some teachers to take it upon themselves to take self-defense classes and practice with firearms. Some of the classes focus on disarming and fighting an armed attacker while others center on evading and escape.
The unthinkable has happened yet again, this time in Sparks, Nevada,” said Nicole Hockley, whose child was killed in the Newton shooting. “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.”