AP: Family Identifies Teacher in Sparks Middle School Shooting
Michael Landsberry, courtesy of Facebook
The Associated Press reports family members have identified a math teacher as the staff member who was killed while trying to stop a shooter at Sparks Middle School.
Police say the staff member tried to intervene in the shooting with the alleged shooter. Two other 12-year-old students were hurt and are expected to survive. One was shot in the stomach, the other in the shoulder. One of those students underwent surgery earlier today. As of 3:30pm, one student was listed in serious condition while the other student is in fair condition.
Both Landsberry and the alleged shooter, described as a 13-year-old Hispanic boy, died at the scene.
They also say the alleged shooter was of "middle school age." "The best description is chaos. It's too early to say if he was targeting specific people or just going on an indiscriminate shooting spree," said Deputy Chief Tom Robinson of the Reno Police Department.
Police say the alleged shooter killed himself and that officers did not fire any shots at the alleged shooter. CBS News reports federal officials have told them the alleged shooter got the semi-automatic gun from his parents.
Chanda Landsberry tells the Associated Press she's not surprised at all that her brother-in-law stepped in to stop the rampage. 45-year-old Landsberry, a member of the Nevada National Guard, leaves behind a wife and two stepdaughters.
Police call Landsberry a hero. "Because of his courage. I'll leave it at that for now but he had some courage," says Robinson.
Governor Brian Sandoval has ordered flags to fly at half-staff "as we focus our thoughts and prayers on Sparks Middle School and the Nevada family."
Police say they'll hold their next briefing at 10am Tuesday.
Police say classes at Sparks Middle School are canceled for the remainder of this week. Classes at Agnes Risley are only canceled for the rest of Monday. After-school activities at Sparks Middle School are also canceled for the rest of Monday. Families of students who attend these schools may bring their children to the Boys and Girls Club of Truckee Meadows at 2680 E. Ninth Street starting at 6:45am Tuesday. They should pick up their children by 7pm on Tuesday. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner will be provided to students who spend the day at the facility.
During a live 4pm police briefing, Washoe County School District Superintendent Pedro Martinez said, "We will have to mourn together and we will have to heal together." He made the statement while fighting back tears.
The shooting happened at 7:16am Monday before classes officially start at 7:30am. They say over 200 emergency personnel immediately responded to the scene and set up a perimeter around the school. Washoe County deputies, along with Sparks and Reno police, Nevada Highway Patrol, and federal Marshas all responded to the scene within three minutes of the initial call.
Police say the school scene and community are now "safe," and that the shooter was "neutralized." Sparks Mayor Geno Martini says the "city itself is safe" and that the incident was isolated.
He says training may have kept a tragic situation from being even worse. "Difficult siutation. You never expect something like this to happen but in the back of your mind, I think you always sooner or later, something like this may happen, and hopefully, you're prepared. And I think we're, we're, very, very prepared."
Authorities have released three phone numbers parents can call for counseling, other information:
School counselors are assisting students and staff at different locations. Counseling will be available for the rest of this week.
For counseling resources, students and families may report to:
Monday, Oct. 21: Alice Maxwell Elementary School 2300 N. Rock Blvd. Sparks 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Tuesday, Oct. 22: Virginia Palmer Elementary School 5890 Klondike Sun Valley 7:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.
Sparks High School 820 15th Street Sparks 7:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.
For staff only: Larry Johnson Community Center 1200 12th St. Sparks 7:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.
The school enrolls about 700 students in 7th and 8th grades. About 63,000 students attend Washoe County schools. Earlier in the day, Martinez said in a statement: "This is a tragic day for our District family. Our hearts and prayers go out to all of our students, staff members, and families who have been affected by this terrible event. I am thankful to staff members from all of our schools who have offered help and support."
WCSD Police Chief Mike Mieras said, "School staff members followed emergency procedures, and in the process we believed they saved lives. We are grateful for the quick response from our local law enforcement agencies, and we want to thank those officers for their support."
Washoe County School Trustees released this statement:
We are deeply saddened by the events that took place at Sparks Middle School this morning. Students, staff, and parents impacted by this tragedy: please know that you are in our thoughts and prayers. WCSD staff is working hard to provide support services to all those affected. At this time, you can find helpful resources here: http://www.washoe.k12.nv.us/community/parent_staff_resource?_lang=en
To the community: Thank you for your continued support as we move forward and begin the healing process together.
State Superintendent of Public Instruction Dale Erquiaga today issued the following statement regarding the shooting at Sparks Middle School:
"We at the Nevada Department of Education mourn the tragic death of the Sparks Middle School teacher killed trying to stop a shooter at the school and protect students. Our thoughts and prayers are with the family, and also with all the students who will miss the teacher's presence when they return to school. Like all Nevadans, we are also praying for the speedy recovery of those students injured in this morning's shooting.
I met with Superintendent Pedro Martinez, his staff and members of the Washoe County School District Board of Trustees and know that they are doing everything they can to assist those affected by this incident. I want to praise them for their efforts to inform and support the entire Washoe County School District family during this time of crisis."
Nevada Senator Harry Reid today released the following statement about the shooting at Sparks Middle School.
"My condolences go out to the victims' families and my thoughts are with the teachers, administrators, parents and students at Sparks Middle School who have experienced a traumatic morning. No words of condolence could possibly ease the pain, but I hope it is some small comfort that Nevada mourns with them. I stand by to be of any assistance if there is anything that can be done and I will continue to monitor the situation."
U.S. Senator Dean Heller (R-NV) issued this statement following a shooting at Sparks Middle School this morning:
"Today's events at Sparks Middle School are unsettling and concerning. Thank you to the first responders for quickly moving the staff and students to safety. My thoughts and prayers continue to be with the victims, students, families, teachers, and staff during this difficult time," said Senator Dean Heller.
Governor Brian Sandoval this morning issued the following statement after learning of the shooting at Sparks Middle School:
"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."
Senator Debbie Smith released this statement:
"My family and I are mourning over the shooting that took place at Sparks Middle School this morning. All three of my children attended school there and words cannot express the level of sadness I feel for our community, our parents, our kids and the brave staff at the school. I want to thank the first responders for their quick work in protecting students and staff. My thoughts and prayers will remain with everyone affected."
The Vice Chair of the Washoe County Board of Commissioners expressed her deepest condolences on behalf of the community to the victims and the families of those wounded and killed at Sparks Middle School in the shooting incident this morning.
"Our thoughts and prayers are with the Washoe County School District family including students, staff and parents and all those suffering from this terrible tragedy," said Washoe County Vice Chair Bonnie Weber. "We will continue to assist our community in every way we can to deal with this horrible event."