Sparks Middle school shooting

Hector Amezcua

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On the morning of Monday, October 17, 2013, a school shooting occurred in Sparks, Nevada. Two are dead, including the shooter himself, and two have been wounded.

Shortly before classes were to start that morning, Sparks Middle School issued a lockdown upon hearing gunshots. The authorities were contacted at 7:16 a.m, and first responders arrived less than three minutes after the call. By that time, the suspect had fired upon three people before turning the gun upon himself.

The Sparks Police Department have confirmed the suspect as one of the two dead. He has been identified as Jose Reyes, a seventh grade student of the school. He was wearing a school uniform at the time of the shooting.

An eyewitness account from multiple students indicates that the first casualty was Mike Landsberry, a math teacher, who ran over to the playground where Reyes was seen with a semi-automatic handgun. Landsberry was shot, and the students in the area fled from the shooter into a nearby field and sought refuge with nearby strangers. Reyes then opened fire on other students.

Two boys are being treated for gunshot wounds at the Renown Regional Hospital. They were in critical condition when they arrived, but were in stable condition by the night. One was shot in the stomach; the other, in the shoulder.

The shooting has provoked press releases from Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, acknowledging the solemnity of the events that transpired and mourning the death of Landsberry.

The motive of the shooter is unknown.

Sparks Middle School and Agnes Risley Elementary School closed last Monday and remained closed for that week. Some students were evacuated to the elementary school before all students of both schools were relocated to Sparks High School to be picked up by their parents.

The suspect’s parents are likely to face criminal charges. They are complying with the police investigation.

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