clear
Sunday May 3rd, 2015 5:50AM

Nev. school shooter was a 12-year-old; got gun from home

By The Associated Press
SPARKS, Nev. (AP) -- The 12-year-old student who opened fire on a Nevada middle school campus, wounding two classmates and killing a teacher before he turned the gun on himself, got the weapon from his home, authorities said Tuesday.

Washoe County School District police said they are still working to determine how the boy obtained the 9mm semi-automatic Ruger handgun used in the Monday morning spree at Sparks Middle School. The boy's parents are cooperating with authorities and could face charges in the case, police said.

Authorities say they're withholding the seventh-grader's name out of respect for his family.

At a news conference Tuesday, law enforcement and school officials again lauded the actions of 45-year-old math teacher and former Marine Michael Landsberry, who tried to stop the rampage before he was killed.

"I cannot express enough appreciation for Mr. Landsberry," Washoe County School District Superintendent Pedro Martinez said. "He truly is a hero."

The violence started before the first bell of the day rang, as students filed off buses and gathered for class. The boy opened fire outside a school building, hitting one 12-year-old student in the shoulder. He then headed toward a basketball court, where he encountered Landsberry.

The teacher walked calmly toward the shooter and lifted his hands, asking the boy to hand over his weapon.

"He was telling him to stop and put the gun down," student Jose Cazares told NBC's "Today" show Tuesday. "Then the kid, he yelled out `No!' Like, he was yelling at him, and he shot him."

Landsberry suffered a fatal gunshot wound to the chest.

Still, his actions gave students enough time to run to safety, according to Washoe County School District Police Chief Mike Mieras.

Police said they believe the shooter at one point tried to enter the school but couldn't open the door because of emergency lockdown procedures.

After killing Landsberry, the boy fired at a second student, hitting him in the abdomen. He then shot himself in the head.

The two 12-year-old boys who were wounded are in stable condition and recovering.

Authorities provided no motive for the shooting but said they've interviewed 20 or 30 witnesses and are looking into any prior connection the victims had with the shooter.

"Everybody wants to know why - that's the big question," Sparks Deputy Police Chief Tom Miller said. "The answer is, we don't know right now."

Parents clung to their children at an evacuation center shortly after the shooting while the community struggled to make sense of the latest episode of schoolyard violence, which happened less than a year after the Newtown, Conn., massacre.

Sparks, just east of Reno, has a population of roughly 90,000.

Landsberry coached several youth sports. He also served two tours in Afghanistan with the Nevada National Guard and was well-known in the school community, Sparks Mayor Geno Martini said. Landsberry served in the Marine Corps from 1986 to 1990 and was stationed in Camp Lejeune, N.C., and Okinawa, Japan, according to military records.

The mayor praised the response from officers, who arrived at the scene within 3 minutes of the initial 911 calls to find the shooter dead.

"They got it under control very quickly and shut down the scene," said Martini, who urged listeners on a local radio station hours after the shooting to be sure all guns in their homes were safely locked away.

Students from the middle school and neighboring elementary school were evacuated to a high school, and all classes were canceled. The middle school will remain closed for the week, while an adjacent elementary school is set to reopen Wednesday.
© Copyright 2015 AccessNorthGa.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
S&P 500 index has its best year since 1997
The stock market closed out a record year with more all-time highs on Tuesday, giving U.S. indexes their biggest annual gains in almost two decades.
6:56PM ( 1 year ago )
Colorado readies for 'Green Wednesday' pot sales
Police were adding extra patrols around pot shops in eight Colorado towns that plan to allow recreational sales to anyone over 21 on Jan. 1.
1:52PM ( 1 year ago )
Kerry seeks framework for Mideast peace talks
A senior State Department official says Secretary of State John Kerry will try this week to get Israel and the Palestinians to agree on a framework for negotiating a final peace agreement, yet cautions against raising expectations for Kerry's latest round of shuttle diplomacy.
1:35PM ( 1 year ago )
U.S. News
Ethics laws set to take effect Jan. 1 in Georgia
After dominating much of the legislative session, a set of major ethics reforms is scheduled to take effect Jan. 1.
7:04PM ( 1 year ago )
Sex offender held in Hall County for failing to register
A 47-year-old man was booked into the Hall County Jail Tuesday, being held without bond for allegedly failing to register as a sex offender, his second such arrest.
6:09PM ( 1 year ago )
Pharmacy robberies may involve same suspect
Oakwood Police Tuesday afternoon released details in a pharmacy robbery they're investigating, similar to one that happened in the Hall County Tuesday morning.
5:46PM ( 1 year ago )
Local/State News
Obama again avoids calling 1915 Armenian killings 'genocide'
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama will once again stop short of calling the 1915 massacre of Armenians a genocide, prompting anger and disappointment from those who have been pushing him to ful...
1:00PM ( 1 week ago )
Ex-NFL star Hernandez convicted of murder, sentenced to life
FALL RIVER, Mass. (AP) — Former New England Patriots star Aaron Hernandez was convicted of first-degree murder and sentenced to life in prison Wednesday for a deadly late-night shooting, sealing the d...
8:54PM ( 2 weeks ago )
Clinton kicks off 2016 campaign online, heads next to Iowa
WASHINGTON (AP) — Hillary Rodham Clinton jumped back into presidential politics on Sunday, making a much-awaited announcement she will again seek the White House with a promise to serve as the "champi...
7:56PM ( 2 weeks ago )
Hall, White, Jefferson schools recognized nationally for use of technology
Three school districts in northeast Georgia - Hall, White, and Jefferson - have received national recognition for their use use of innovative technologies. They earned top spots in the Center for Digital Education's and the National School Boards Association's 10th annual Digital School Districts Survey.
By Staff
1:00PM ( 2 weeks ago )
US Capitol lockdown lifted after man fatally shoots himself
WASHINGTON (AP) — A precautionary lockdown of the U.S. Capitol was lifted after about two hours Saturday following a suicide by a man carrying a protest sign.The man died after shooting himself on the...
6:15PM ( 3 weeks ago )