Details Emerge About Middle School Shooting, Former Marine Praised For Attempt To Save Kids



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(Sacramento, CA)
Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Nevada police say the shooter who killed a teacher and wounded two 12-year-olds at Sparks Middle School Monday was a 7th-grader who got the gun from his home.

Washoe County School District police say they are still working to determine how the boy obtained the 9-millimeter semi-automatic Ruger handgun. The boy's parents are cooperating with authorities and police say they could face charges in the case. 

Washoe County School District Police Chief Mike Mieras says the shooter tried to enter the school from the playground where he first opened fire, but he couldn’t because the doors were locked.

“It’s very important that he did not make it into the school, because that’s just before school hours. School’s getting ready to start. The procedures that are in place, the school had followed. So he was unable to open the door to allow himself into the hallways where there was even more students,” says Mieras.

Nevada law enforcement, school and National Guard officials are praising 45-year-old math teacher and former Marine Michael Landsberry, who tried to stop yesterday's Sparks Middle School shooting before he was killed.

"He's the type of guy that got in the thick of things to protect his kids," says Senior Master Sergeant Robert Garrett with the Nevada National Guard.  He says Guard Airman Landsberry was perfectly trained to respond to this type of situation.

"He did what he had to do. I kinda wish that he was armed, but that's just my own opinion," says Garrett.

Michael Landsberry was known as “Mister L” by his math students and was respected by his peers in the Guard as one who always had their back. Colonel Jeffrey Burkett with the Nevada National Guard says that’s what he was doing when a 12-year-old came to school with a gun.

“He was trying to save the children.  He was trying to save that child. From what I understand, he didn’t hesitate. He walked up to the child very calmly and tried to talk the shooter out of the weapon and unfortunately it didn’t work out,"says Burkett.

Landsberry was shot in the chest by the student. He’s survived by a wife and two step children.

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

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