Sparks, Nevada middle-schooler Jose Cazares and his mom, Marisela appeared on the Today Show on Tuesday morning to thank the hero teacher who saved Jose’s life.
The young boy was attending the school’s basketball game when a young student opened fire, killing math teacher Mike Landsberry and wounding two other students before taking his own life.
Speaking to Matt Lauer the young man recalled the terrifying moments of the shooting, “I was hanging out with my friends, and then we heard a loud gunshot and we thought it was firecrackers… So then we looked back toward where we saw the noise, and we saw the kid pull out his gun and shoot the kid in the arm, so then they started running and I froze because he was aiming his gun right at my chest. And I looked at the gun and my chest like, ‘He’s going to shoot me.’
Jose adds, “I turned around and I ran. I heard a gunshot, and I thought he shot me. Then I looked back, and he shot a kid in his leg, arm and stomach.”
Landsberry then quickly stepped forward and began talking to the Nevada school shooter: “(Landsberry) was telling him to stop and put the gun down, and then the kid, he yelled out ‘No!’ yelling at him, and he shot him,” Jose said. “(Landsberry) was calm and he was holding out his hand like, ‘Put the gun in my hand,’ like to just stop.”
Landsberry, 45, a National Guardsman and former Marine, died at the scene.
Jose’s mother Marisela Cazares told Lauer that she is “forever grateful” for the teachers heroic actions.”
Jose also told the Today Show host that he heard one student try out “why me” but the shooting “didn’t say anything, he just kept on shooting them.”
After hiding with a group of fellow students Jose says they heard the shooter yell, “If you guys say anything about me coming here, I’m going to shoot you.” The young shooter then blew out two windows and left.
The heroic teacher from Sparks, Nevada leaves behind a wife Sharon, and two of her children from a previous relationship.
Marisela adds, “I want to say that they’re in my thoughts and prayers today and for the rest of the days. I hope that God gives them the encouragement that they need to go on. Mr. Landsberry, he sacrificed his life to take our kids into safety, and I thank him for that. He’s a true hero.”
Here is the Jose Cazares’ full interview with Matt Lauer:
Following the Sparks shooting Governor Brian Sandoval issued the following statement:
I was deeply saddened to learn of the horrific shooting at Sparks Middle School this morning. 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 two male minors who were shot during the incident were rushed to a nearby hospital where they were listed in critical condition.
Nearly 200 personnel surrounded the school when the shooting was reported.