The teacher who was killed Monday morning trying to protect middle school students from a shooter on the grounds has been identified as Michael Landsberry, according to NBC.
Two people — the teacher and the shooter — died at Sparks Middle School near Reno, Nev. Two others, both minors, were also injured.
Landsberry was 45 years old and had a wife and two stepdaughters, according to the Associated Press.
Witnesses told the Reno Gazette-Journal that a boy wearing a Sparks Middle School uniform opened fire outside the school Monday morning. Police have not confirmed how the shooter died, but multiple media reports say he killed himself. He was a student at the school.
A witness told the Gazette-Journal that a teacher told the shooter to put the gun down before he was shot.
The student said: “We were at school, we were by the basketball court and we heard a pop, like a loud pop, and everybody was screaming. And then the teacher came to investigate. I thought it was a firecracker at first, but the student was pointing a gun at the teacher after the teacher told him to put it down. And then the student fired a shot at the teacher and the teacher fell and everybody ran away. … While we were running, we heard about four or five more shots.”
Landsberry’s sister-in-law told the Gazette-Journal: “To hear he was trying to protect those kids doesn’t surprise me at all. He could have ducked and hid, but he didn’t. That’s not who he is.”
He was a beloved teacher at the middle school. Students and others are mourning him on social media:
It was a pleasure to have been given the opportunity to have met you and have had you as a coach.Thank you for that experience Mr.Landsberry
— Michelle Cardenas (@mitchiemich1) October 21, 2013
If mr.landsberry hadn’t been there at the time of the shooting, one of us could have been shot.
— Alex ツ (@aleexbabe_) October 21, 2013
He taught maths, according to the website he set up for his students.
Landsberry posted this message on the site: “Just like you I have good days and bad days. What may bother me one day may not the next. A very good skill to learn is reading people and their moods. We will learn a lot from each other this year and what bothers us the most. … One of my goals is to earn your respect while you earn mine.”
Landsberry was in the Nevada Army National Guard, the Gazette-Journal reports. He was also a Marine.
Marine officials confirmed to Business Insider that Landsberry enlisted in 1986 and attained the rank of corporal. It is not clear how long he was enlisted.
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