Two people were killed and two injured in a shooting this morning at Sparks Middle School near Reno, Nev., at approximately 7:15 a.m. Law enforcement identified the first victim as math teacher Michael Landsberry at an 11 a.m. press conference but did not release the name of the gunman.
Before the press conference, Sparks City Manager Shawn Carey confirmed the student shooter was dead by a self-inflicted gunshot wound. Two victims were pronounced dead at the scene, and two were transported to Renown Medical Center.
At this press conference, which was held outside of the Sparks police station, Washoe County School District Police Chief Mike Mieras confirmed that one person killed at Sparks Middle School was a teacher and the other was what authorities described as a student/suspect.
Mieras also disclosed that one of the injured male students had been shot in the stomach, and the other in the shoulder. As of this afternoon, the first remained in serious condition, while the latter was in fair condition, according to the hospital.
"This is just a tragic day for us," Superintendent Pedro Martinez said at the press conference. “A very tragic day.”
Witness Kyle Nucum, 13, said the "popular" math teacher was shot after he approached the student who was brandishing a gun and told him to put it down. Landsberry, 45, was a member of the Nevada Army National Guard and a former Marine. His family members told the Reno Gazette-Journal they were not surprised by his bravery.
“To hear he was trying to protect those kids, that he stepped up and tried to stop the situation, doesn’t surprise me at all,” said sister-in-law Chanda Landsberry. “He could have ducked and hid, but he didn’t. That’s not who he is. He was trained to help.”
Reno Deputy Chief Tom Robinson said at the news conference, “In my estimation, he is a hero. We do know he was trying to intervene.”
Some of Landsberry’s students told the Gazette that he loved Batman so much that many kids made it his nickname. Other students expressed their grief and pain on social media and shared photos of their beloved teacher being silly in the classroom.
Minutes after the shooting, a source told STN the shooting occurred as school buses were arriving at Sparks Middle School and parents were dropping off their children.
During a 9:15 a.m. press conference at Agnes Risley Elementary School, Robinson noted that 150 to 200 personnel had immediately secured the school and the surrounding area. He also addressed parents, saying, “I can tell them to rest assured. The schools are safe. The rest of the city is safe.”
The public was urged to stay away from the middle school, according to a message on the Sparks Police Department website. Vickie Campbell of the Washoe County School District said Agnes Risley and Sparks Middle School would be closed today, and students from both schools should be picked up at Sparks High School.
This morning Governor Brian Sandoval issued the following statement after learning of the school shooting in Sparks:
“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.”