Friday, April 18, 2014
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

Student kills teacher, self at Nevada middle school

SPARKS, Nev. (AP) — Students at a Nevada middle school were filing off buses and reuniting with friends on the playground after a weeklong vacation when the pop of gunfire shattered the morning calm. Children fled the campus for their lives before the first bell rang.

Police said a Sparks Middle School student was the lone shooter who injured two classmates, killed himself and took the life of an eighth-grade math teacher who tried to stop the rampage Monday. The teacher, 45-year-old former serviceman Michael Landsberry, was being hailed for trying to protect students from a shooting that was witnessed by 20 or 30 children.

“We have a lot of heroes today, including our children … and our fallen hero, an amazing teacher,” Washoe County School District Superintendent Pedro Martinez said.

Authorities did not provide a motive for the shooting, and it’s not known where he got the gun. The 12-year-old wounded students were listed in stable condition. One was shot in the shoulder, and the other was hit in the abdomen.

Jose Cazares said he was hanging out with friends when they heard gunshots, which they thought were firecrackers. He said he saw a boy shoot two students. He said the boy then aimed the gun at his chest, but Landsberry stepped between him and the shooter.

“He was telling him to stop and put the gun down. Then the kid, he yelled out ‘No!’ Like, he was yelling at him, and he shot him,” Jose told NBC’s “Today” show on Tuesday. “He was calm, he was holding out his hand like, ‘put the gun in my hand.’”

Jose said he and his friends ran and hid after Landsberry was shot. He said one friend began crying, which the shooter heard. The shooter found the boys and threatened to shoot them if they told anyone they saw him, then fired two shots at a window, before apparently running out of bullets, Jose said. He said the boys lied to the shooter, telling him they didn’t see anything, and then the shooter ran off.

Jose’s mother expressed gratitude for Landsberry, who she said had never taught her son.

“He sacrificed his life to take our kids into safety,” Marisela Cazares told “Today.” ”I thank him for that. He’s a true hero.”

After the gunfire stopped, parents clung to their teary-eyed children at an evacuation center, while the community struggled to make sense of the latest episode of schoolyard violence to rock the nation less than a year after the massacre in Newtown, Conn. Sparks, a city of roughly 90,000 that sprung out of the railway industry, lies just east of Reno.

“It’s not supposed to happen here,” said Chanda Landsberry, the slain teacher’s sister-in-law. “We’re just Sparks — little Sparks, Nevada. It’s unreal.”

Investigators were still trying to piece together the chain of events that began around 7:15 a.m. Monday, 15 minutes before classes were set to begin for roughly 700 students in the 7th and 8th grades.

“As you can imagine, the best description is chaos,” Reno Deputy Police Chief Tom Robinson said. “It’s too early to say whether he was targeting people or going on an indiscriminate shooting spree.”

It was no shock to family members that Landsberry — a married military veteran with two stepdaughters — would take a bullet.

“To hear that he was trying to stop that is not surprising by any means,” Chanda Landsberry said. She added his life could be summed up by his love of family, his students and his country.

On his school website, Michael Landsberry posted a picture of a brown bear and took on a tough-love tone, telling students, “I have one classroom rule and it is very simple: ‘Thou Shall Not Annoy Mr. L.’”

“The kids loved him,” Chanda Landsberry said.

Sparks Mayor Geno Martini said Landsberry served two tours in Afghanistan with the Nevada National Guard and was well known in the school community.

“He proudly served his country and was proudly defending the students at his school,” he said. The mayor praised the quick response from officers who arrived at the scene within 3 minutes of the initial 911 calls to find the shooter with a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head.

“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 are locked away safely.

“I couldn’t understand how this kid got a gun,” he said. “I’m sure his parents didn’t give it to him.”

Students from the middle school and neighboring elementary school were evacuated to the nearby high school, and classes were canceled. The middle school will remain closed for the week along with an adjacent elementary school.

“We came flying down here to get our kids,” said Mike Fiorica, who came to the evacuation center to meet up with his nephew, a Sparks Middle school student. “You can imagine how parents are feeling. You don’t know if your kid’s OK.”

The violence erupted nearly a year after a gunman horrified the nation by opening fire in Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., leaving 26 dead. The Dec. 14 shooting ignited debate over how best to protect the nation’s schools and whether armed teachers should be part of that equation.

The Washoe County School District, which oversees Sparks Middle School, held a session in the spring in light of the Connecticut tragedy to educate parents on what safety measures the district takes.

The district has its own 38-officer police department. No officers were on campus at the time of the shooting.

————

By Scott Sonner. Associated Press writer Michelle Rindels in Las Vegas and news researcher Rhonda Shafner in New York City contributed to this report.

The Associated Press

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | No comments

The Davis Enterprise does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

.

News

 
Chuck Rairdan joins school board race

By Jeff Hudson | From Page: A1, 1 Comment

Going green at church, school, everywhere

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Former caretaker convicted of murder, elder abuse

By Lauren Keene | From Page: A1, 3 Comments | Gallery

Old friend helps Brad and others find kidneys

By Dave Jones | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
For the record

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A2

 
UCD to host Global Health Day event

By Cory Golden | From Page: A2

Ukraine insurgents reject call to quit buildings

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2, 2 Comments

 
Need a new best friend?

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3 | Gallery

 
‘Hitchhiking’ dog looking for new home

By Lauren Keene | From Page: A3 | Gallery

Volunteers needed for Grad Night

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

 
Davis grad makes rain collection a business

By Jason McAlister | From Page: A4 | Gallery

A few spots left on history tour

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

 
Chipotle fundraiser boosts Emerson tech upgrade

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

Event to provide nature scholarship

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

 
Online K-12 school holds info night

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

 
Volkssporting Club plans North Davis walks

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

Schwenger lawn signs available

By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A4

 
Students have new options on leasing front

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5 | Gallery

Groups join for a day of service

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A7

 
NAMI backers walk in Sacramento

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A8

 
Food for the hungry

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A10

.

Forum

Dad makes mom look bad

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: B5

 
UCD IS responsible for students

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6, 1 Comment

 
Tom Meyer cartoon

By Debbie Davis | From Page: A6

In search of great ideas

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6, 1 Comment

 
Please keep the nursery open

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

Early help is a great investment

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

 
More tax money? Answer the question

By Rich Rifkin | From Page: A6, 1 Comment

.

Sports

Fox coming to UCD; Riffle heads to Florida

By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1

 
DHS’ Golston goes full-bore on the diamond

By Thomas Oide | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Devils show more life in loss to Mitty

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

 
Sharks double up Kings in Game 1

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

Aggies lose a slugfest in opener at Riverside

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

 
DYSA roundup: Intensity has big week; 10U games dominate schedule

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B2 | Gallery

Sports briefs: Aggies set the academic bar high

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B8 | Gallery

 
Pro baseball roundup: Susac sends Sacramento to a rare loss

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

.

Features

.

Arts

‘Transcendence’: A whole new level of tedium

By Derrick Bang | From Page: A11 | Gallery

 
‘The Bloom’ paves way for Whole Earth Festival

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A11

DHS tribute to Tony Fields slated for April 25-26

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A11

 
UCD, city team up for Music on the Green

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A11

.

Business

Ford turns its Focus to domestic market

By Ali Arsham | From Page: B3 | Gallery

 
.

Obituaries

.

Comics

Comics: Friday, April 18, 2014

By Creator | From Page: A9

 
.

Real Estate Review

Featured Listing

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER1

Professional Services Directory

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER2

Lyon Real Estate

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER3

Jamie Madison

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER4

Yolo FCU

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER4

Acacia at Huntington Square

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER4

Travis Credit Union

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER5

Kim Eichorn

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER6

Suzanne Kimmel

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER6

Lynne Wegner

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER7

Kim Merrel Lamb

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER7

Chris Snow

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER8

Patricia Echevarria

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER8

Sheryl Patterson

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER9

Don Guthrie

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER9

Andrew Dowling

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER9

Coldwell Banker

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER10

Coldwell Banker

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER11

Julie Partain & Dick Partain

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER12

Heather Barnes

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER12

Malek Baroody

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER13

Karen Waggoner

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER14

Willowbank Park

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER14

Julie Leonard

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER15

Tim Harrison

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER15

Team Traverso

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER15

Tracy Harris

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER16

Lori Prizmich

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER16

Raul Zamora

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER17

Joe Kaplan

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER17

Coldwell Banker

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER18

Open House Map

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER19

F1rst Street Real Estate

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER20