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.
Presents unwrapped, turkey gobbled... it's time to relax
- 1 Shia LaBeouf claims he was raped during #IAMSORRY art installation performance
- 2 This letter from a reader explains why women can’t play football
- 3 'You should come to my house and eat cheeses with me': 4-year-old sends adorable love letter to girl at school
- 4 Scientists predict green energy revolution after incredible new graphene discoveries
- 5 Michael Buerk wishes he killed Jimmy Savile when he had the chance - by pushing him overboard a cruise ship
Sean Abbott: Messages of support flood in for bowler after death of Phil Hughes
Plebgate: Andrew Mitchell’s reputation in tatters as judge rules he used the word ‘pleb’
Dr Lam Hoe Yeoh: Voyeur doctor jailed for eight years after using network of hidden cameras to film patients, colleagues and friends on the toilet
Kim Jong-un 'in dire need of allies' within his own government as younger sister appointed to senior role
Scientists predict green energy revolution after incredible new graphene discoveries
Obama: The only people with the right to object to immigration are Native Americans
Ukip says babies born to immigrants in the UK should be classed as migrants – which would include Nigel Farage’s own children
The young are the new poor: Sharp increase in number of under-25s living in poverty, while over-65s are better off than ever
Tamir Rice: 12-year-old boy playing with fake gun dies after being shot by Ohio police
Ukip mocked after mistaking Westminster Cathedral – for a mosque
Sarah Vine criticises lesbian mother Jack Monroe: 'If she was unsure about her sexuality, she should have taken greater precautions'
£18000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Sales Executive is required t...
£25000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This waste services provider is...
£25000 - £32000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Are you a team player who likes...
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: They are in need of additional skilled machini...