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Student shooter at Sparks Middle School used semi-automatic handgun

October 21, 2013|By Melanie Mason and Ari Bloomekatz
  • Law enforcement personnel gather at the scene of a shooting at Sparks Middle School in Sparks, Nev.
Law enforcement personnel gather at the scene of a shooting at Sparks Middle… (Marilyn Newton / Associated…)

SPARKS, Nev. -- The student who came armed to Sparks Middle School on Monday morning opened fire using a semiautomatic handgun, wounding two other students and killing a teacher before turning the gun on himself, police said.

Sparks Police Chief Tom Miller did not identify the deceased shooter or the teacher who was killed. Nor did he name the wounded boys, saying only that they are both 12 are hospitalized in stable condition. One was shot was shot in the abdomen, he said, and the other in the shoulder.

The teacher has been identified by family members as Michael Landsberry, who, according to the school's website, taught eighth-grade math.

Police said about 20 to 30 students witnessed the shooting and will be questioned.

After the incident, which authorities say they believe lasted only a few minutes, the school was swept for explosives, police said. None were found. Parents were told to show identification when picking up their children at a nearby school.

Pedro Martinez, superintendent of the Washoe County School District, said it was a "very tragic and sad day" but that "we have a lot of heroes today."

"Right now, our work is going to focus on the families and focus on the staff," he said before publicizing counseling sessions for students and staff members.

"We know this is a difficult time for all of us, but one of the things that I love about this community is we're a family," Martinez said. "We'll have to mourn together and we'll have to heal together."


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