A student at a middle school in Nevada brought with his a semi-automatic handgun, wounding two boys and killing a math teacher who tried to protect his students.
The unidentified shooter committed suicide with the same gun he used in a bloody massacre that occurred in front of 20 to 30 horrified students who had just returned to school from a weeklong fall break.
According to CNN, local officials has not foung a motive for the rampage, and it’s still unknown where the student got the gun.
“It’s too early to say whether he was targeting specific people or just going on an indiscriminate shooting spree,” said Tom Robinson, deputy chief of the Reno Police Department.
Mike Landsberry, a popular math teacher at the school, who was killed in the shooting, was hailed as a “hero”.
Landsberry had served in the Marines and served several tours in Afghanistan as a member of the Nevada Air National Guard, it surfaced later.
“He was the kind of person that if someone needed help he would be there,” Reggie Landsberry said. “He loved teaching. He loved the kids. He loved coaching them. … He was just a good all-around individual.”
Reggie Landsberry said his brother was probably trying to “talk the kid down and protect whoever he could. That sounds like Mike.”
“We have a lot of heroes today, including our children … and our fallen hero, an amazing teacher,” Washoe County School District Superintendent Pedro Martinez echoed.
“In my estimation, he is a hero. … We do know he was trying to intervene,” Reno Deputy Police Chief Tom Robinson agreed.
One of the witnesses told a local news agency that she knew the student who opened fire at the school campus.
“He was really a nice kid,” Amaya Newton said. “He would make you smile when you were having bad day.”
Newton went on, adding that she supposed the two students who were wounded were friends of the shooter.
Local police told reporters that first responders were at the school just three minutes after the initial 911 calls.
“I think we were well-prepared. Everybody responded appropriately. I think our first responders did a heckuva job, but it’s a sad day for the city of Sparks,” Mayor Martini said.
Authorities confirmed to the media that students were taken to a nearby high school to meet their parents. School classes were canceled for the week at Sparks Middle School and for the day at 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 Nevada shooting comes a year after a gunman killed 26 people at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, igniting nationwide debate over gun violence and school safety.