Teacher shot dead by student in Nevada school is named as Michael Landsberry
Tim Walker is The Independent’s Los Angeles correspondent, covering entertainment and other concerns from the West Coast of the US. He was previously a features writer and the editor of the paper’s diary column. His first novel, Completion, is being published in January 2014.
Monday 21 October 2013
A student shot dead a staff member and wounded two other boys after opening fire at a school in northern Nevada early on Monday.
The shooting occurred at Sparks Middle School outside Reno at around 7.15am, shortly before classes were due to begin. Michael Landsberry, a popular maths teacher, reportedly attempted to persuade the shooter to put down the gun, only to be killed himself. Two boys were rushed to hospital with gunshot wounds. Officials said one had undergone surgery, but both had been downgraded from critical and were expected to recover.
Local media reports suggest the suspect died after turning the gun on himself. Police said the shooter, who has not been named, was “neutralised”. One student, Michelle Hernandez, told the Reno Gazette-Journal she heard him say, “Why you people making fun of me, why you laughing at me?”
Another, Seth Hinchberger, said that as the suspect started firing, he and other pupils retreated into a hallway, “We piled up and put the girls in the back and the guys in the front … for the safety of the girls,” Hinchberger said. “He came over to us and started aiming at all of us…Then he saw a teacher in the window and shot the window trying to get him. Shot the window twice.”
Landsberry was a military veteran who also served in the Nevada Army National Guard. His sister-in-law, Chanda Landsberry, said, “To hear he was trying to protect those kids doesn’t surprise me at all. He could have ducked and hid, but he didn’t. That’s not who he is.”
The school, which has around 700 pupils, most aged 12 or 13, was placed on lockdown following the first emergency call, and children were evacuated to the nearby Agnes Risley Elementary School. Tom Robinson, Deputy Chief of Reno Police, said Landsberry had indeed attempted to intervene to prevent the bloodshed. “In my estimation, he is a hero,” Robinson said.
Sparks Middle School forbids students from wearing red or blue due to the colours’ associations with the area’s rival gangs. Pedro Martinez, the superintendent of the Washoe County School District, said, “This is just a tragic day for us. A very tragic day.”
Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval released a statement saying he was “deeply saddened” by the news, while Nevada Senator Harry Reid, the leader of the Democrat majority in the Senate, also sent his condolences.
- 1 Mario Balotelli: Staff at arson-hit Manchester Dogs' Home convinced Liverpool striker is behind five-figure donation
- 2 There is literally not a single woman in this iPhone 6 queue
- 3 Scottish independence: Tory revolt against 'devo max' grows as Rail Minister Claire Perry joins
- 4 Hitler’s former food taster reveals the horrors of the Wolf’s Lair
- 5 Scottish independence referendum: JK Rowling, Russell Brand, Nigel Farage and more react to the 'No' vote
Scottish independence referendum: Frankie Boyle reacts to nation's 'No' vote - 'To be fair, I've always hated Scotland'
Scottish independence referendum results: David Cameron pledges plans for 'English votes for English laws' by January
Scottish independence live: Scotland gives a clear 'No' in historic referendum - as it happened
Scottish referendum results: David Cameron set to unveil major devolution of powers to England
Hitler’s former food taster reveals the horrors of the Wolf’s Lair
Daniele Watts: Django Unchained actress detained by Los Angeles police after being mistaken for a prostitute
Scottish independence referendum: A nation divided against itself
Scottish independence: David Cameron is becoming the 'George Bush of Britain'
Russia freezes Ukraine into submission: Kiev admits country doesn't have enough fuel for winter
Scottish independence: The Queen breaks silence on referendum debate – as think tank warns of £14bn black hole if Scotland votes Yes
Archbishop of Canterbury admits doubts about existence of God
£30000 - £35000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager (CIM, B2B, MS Offi...
£22000 - £25000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A highly successful organisation wit...
£1 per day: Randstad Education Leeds: Job Purpose To work closely with the he...
£32000 - £42000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client is curr...