Shooting At Nev. Middle School Leaves Two Dead, Two Wounded
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There's news today of another school shooting. This one in Nevada, at Sparks Middle School near Reno. Two people are dead - a teacher and a student who's believed to be the gunman. Two other students were injured and are in the hospital. NPR's Ted Robbins has more.
TED ROBBINS, BYLINE: Washoe County School District Police Chief Mike Mieras says the shooting started at 7:15 this morning outside classrooms at Sparks Middle School.
MIKE MIERAS: Kids are congregating out back, some of them, they play sports or waiting for the bell to ring. And students are inside and they're just waiting for their day to start.
ROBBINS: Police say they're interviewing between 20 and 30 eyewitnesses. The witnesses say they saw a fellow student pull a gun. Police say it was a semiautomatic handgun. Teacher Michael Landsberry tried to talk the student into putting the gun away. Instead, Reno Deputy Police Chief Tom Robinson says the boy shot and killed Landsberry. Michael Landsberry was an eighth grade math teacher and a member of the Nevada Air National Guard.
TOM ROBINSON: We got video to review, people we got to talk to but in my estimation, he is a hero.
ROBBINS: The student with the gun then pointed it at other students and he shot two 12-year-olds. Those two were wounded in the shoulder and abdomen and are recovering. The other students say they ran for cover. The boy holding the gun then shot and killed himself. Police say first responders rushed to the school, arriving three minutes after the first 911 call. School staff evacuated all the students to a nearby high school, where parents came to pick them up. Sparks Mayor Geno Martini.
MAYOR GENO MARTINI: It's a tragic day in the city of Sparks. Our hearts go out to all those that have been affected, the students, the families, all those people involved.
ROBBINS: Sparks is in Washoe County, Nevada, and the school district has its own police force. Officers patrol schools and respond to problems. There was no armed officer at the middle school before the shooting. School District Police Chief Mieras says this incident will prompt a review of safety procedures but, he said, it's not just a school issue.
MIERAS: This has been a issue that's occurred in theaters, it's been an issue that's occurred in even churches, malls. We've had them on even military bases. So, we make our schools are safe as we possibly can make them.
ROBBINS: Sparks Middle School and the nearby elementary school will be closed at least through tomorrow. The district is making counselors available at community sites to anyone wanting help. There's a lot we don't know yet about this shooting: how a middle school student got a gun, why he brought it to school and started shooting, who he was. Law enforcement and school officials say they'll answer those questions as the investigation progresses. What we do know is that another school shooting - this time in Nevada - has left two people dead.
Ted Robbins, NPR News. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.