The student who authorities say killed a teacher in Monday’s shooting at Sparks middle school in Nevada before taking his own life used a Ruger 9 mm semiautomatic handgun, Sparks Deputy Police Chief Tom Miller told reporters Tuesday.
The as yet undisclosed student shot and killed a teacher, then killed himself in front of his classmates had been bullied, people who knew the boy said. Miller said Tuesday that authorities aren’t positive where the gun came from, but believe it belonged to his parents.
The teacher was killed while trying to protect other students from the armed boy, the authorities said. The Associated Press reported that the teacher was identified as Michael Landsberry, a military veteran with a wife and two stepdaughters.
It was not immediately clear what prompted the shooting, which occurred about 7:15 a.m., just before the start of school, said Tom Robinson, deputy chief of the Reno Police Department. Sparks, a city of 90,000 people, is just east of Reno.
Sparks Middle School has an enrollment of 620 seventh and eight grade students, according to its Web site. Classes have been canceled for the rest of the week.
Gov. Brian Sandoval of Nevada said in a statement that he was “deeply saddened to learn of the horrific shooting” and that the Nevada Highway Patrol was assisting the local authorities.” In a statement, Senator Harry Reid called it “a traumatic morning.”
An interfaith candlelight vigil to honor the shooting victims is planned for 7 p.m. Wednesday.
More than two dozen school counselors and psychologist would be on hand at the school Tuesday to provide counseling services for students, staff members and families, officials said.
A note on the school’s Web site said that all middle schools in Washoe County had implemented a “safe zones” policy, which permits any student who “feels threatened, bullied, or the recipient of acts of violence” to go to a designated classroom staffed by a teacher.
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