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Tributes pour in for teacher killed in Nevada school shooting

October 22, 2013|By Matt Pearce and Melanie Mason

SPARKS, Nev.--Flags in Nevada have been ordered to half-staff and tributes continued to pour in Tuesday for a teacher who died trying to intervene when a student at his middle school shot two schoolmates before killing the instructor and himself.

Officials and witnesses said that Sparks Middle School eighth-grade math teacher Michael Landsberry, a former Nevada Air National Guardsman who had done two tours of duty in Afghanistan, tried to intervene before the boy shot him at the school early Monday morning.

Officials were expected to identify the student shooter at a Tuesday morning news conference. Classes have been canceled for the rest of the week and grief counseling has been offered to members of the 640-student school near Reno. 

PHOTOS: Sparks Middle School shooting

The two students who were wounded have not been identified, and their families have declined to allow the hospital to offer further updates on their progress, a Renown Regional Medical Center spokeswoman told the Los Angeles Times on Tuesday.

Although the investigation was still in its early stages, Tom Robinson, deputy chief of the Reno Police Department, quickly dubbed Landsberry a "hero" on Monday -- a sentiment echoed by U.S. Sen. Harry Reid (D-Nev.).

“Michael Landsberry: Veteran, wonderful math teacher, admired by students, died a hero," Reid tweeted.

Landsberry's teaching Web page said the teacher had one classroom rule: "Thou shall not annoy Mr. L."

He went on:

"You are asking yourself what annoys me, it depends on any given day. Just like you I have good days and bad days. What may bother me one day may not the next. A very good skill to learn is reading people and their moods. ... One of my goals is to earn your respect while you earn mine.

"I believe that with mutual respect that the classroom environment will run smoothly."

The respect poured in over social media after news of Landsberry's death began to spread.

Students remembered Landsberry as a tough girl's soccer coach who pushed his athletes to always do a little more.

— Amy Luna (@luna_amii) October 21, 2013


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Mason reported from Sparks, Pearce from Los Angeles. Ari Bloomekatz contributed to this report.

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