A Nevada school shooting occurred early this morning at Sparks Middle School, in Sparks, Nev. A student gunman, thought to be only a seventh or eighth grader, opened fire at the school, killing a mathematics teacher and wounding at least two other children, reports CNN on Oct. 21.
The shooter was left dead, and the community was left reeling after yet another incident of gun violence in our nation’s schools.
Witnesses say the shooter killed himself in front of 20 to 30 other students, all of whom are in the seventh and eighth grades. Each of the two injured, both male students, were initially in critical condition at Renown Regional Hospital. One has now been updated to fair condition. At least one of those injured was only 12 years old.
Kyle Nucum, a student at Sparks Middle School, told the Reno Gazette-Journal newspaper that he heard “a pop, like a loud pop, and everybody was screaming.” Nucum said the shooter was confronted by the teacher who instructed him to put his weapon, but instead fired and shot the teacher in the chest, killing him.
“The teacher fell and everybody ran away,” Nucum told the newspaper. “We ran across the field to get somewhere safe, and while we were running we heard about four or five more gunshots.”
Although it had yet to be officially confirmed, students at the school say math teacher Michael Landsberry was shot and killed.
The shooting occurred just after 7 a.m. this morning, before all students had reached their homerooms. Between 150 and 200 officers converged at the school, some responding from over 60 miles away.
The male teacher, thought to be Michael Landsberry, attempted to shield other students.
“In my estimation, he is a hero,” said Tim Robinson, deputy chief of the Sparks police of the unnamed teacher.
“As you can imagine, the best description is chaos,” Robinson said. “It's too early to say whether he was targeting people or going on an indiscriminate shooting spree.”
KRNV, the NBC affiliate in Reno, reported that the school had been cleared, citing officials on the scene. The school was locked down and students were evacuated to nearby Agnes Risley Elementary School before being being bused to the Sparks High School where they were released to their parents.
“I was deeply saddened to learn of the horrific shooting at Sparks Middle School this morning,” Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval said in a statement extending his thoughts and prayers to those affected.
Sparks, a city of roughly 90,000, is just east of Reno. Approximately 700 students attend the school in the seventh and eighth grades.