The Nevada school shooting left a beloved teacher dead and two students in the hospital. The 12-year-old suspect opened fire inside Sparks Middle School before turning the gun on himself. Witnesses said the suspect was upset because he was bullied.
On the morning of October 21, the suspect walked into school with his parents’ semi-automatic handgun. Before classes started, he shot two other students, a teacher, and then himself.
Witnesses said the suspect was being taunted before the shooting began. As reported by Reuters, student Michelle Hernandez heard the 12-year-old say “why are you making fun of me… why are you laughing at me… ” right before he shot two classmates.
Math teacher Mike Landsberry witnessed the horrific scene. As he tried to defuse the situation, the suspect shot and killed him. The boy then used the gun to kill himself.
Landsberry, age 45, was a well-respected teacher and a member of the Nevada Air National Guard. As a Marine, he served several tours in Afghanistan. Reggie Landsberry describes his brother as a kind and generous man who loved teaching and coaching.
Student Amaya Newton describes the suspect as “a really nice kid.” She said he was a good friend, who she could count on to cheer her up when she had a bad day.
Authorities have not determined a motive in the Nevada school shooting, but Newton said the suspect was bullied. The boy’s mother, identified as Tabatha, confirmed that her son was the victim of bullying.
As reported by CNN, Nevada Governor Brian Saldovol said he was “deeply saddened to learn of the horrific shooting”
Sparks Mayor Geno Martini said the incident “marked a tragic day for the city.” Martini assured residents that the Nevada school shooting was an isolated incident, and “the city itself is very safe.”
The shooting is being investigated by local authorities in cooperation with the FBI and the US Department of Homeland Security. Nearly 200 officers searched the school and grounds with bomb sniffing dogs before securing the scene.
Sparks Middle School will remain closed for the remainder of the week. Counselors will be available to any students, faculty, staff, or parents, traumatized by the shooting.
Nicole Hockley’s child was killed in the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in Newtown, Connecticut. She expressed her sympathy to those touched by the tragedy, and called for parents to work together to prevent similar incidents:
“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.”
The Nevada school shooting is another grim reminder that schools are no longer safe from violence and tragedy.
[Image via Wikimedia]