Witnesses to the
shooting at Sparks Middle Schoolnear Reno, Nev. have spoken out about the terror that unfolded Monday morning.
Two people died — the student shooter, who turned the gun on himself, and beloved maths teacher Michael Landsberry — and two 12-year-old students were wounded.
An unnamed middle school boy reportedly used a semi-automatic handgun to open fire outside of the school as students were arriving for class. Federal officials told CBS News that the gun was owned by the boy’s parents.
About 20 to 30 students witnessed the shooting. A few of them told reporters at the Reno Gazette-Journal what they saw.
The shooting reportedly started at 7:15 a.m. Jorge, a 13-year-old student, told the Gazette-Journal that he stopped to talk to Landsberry as he was walking into school. The popular teacher was in charge of monitoring students as they arrived that day.
Jorge said he then saw a student waving a gun around. He thought the student was trying to scare another kid.
Landsberry reportedly shouted at students to run as the shooter pointed his gun at a boy and shot him. Landsberry told the shooter to put the gun down, but instead the boy shot him.
Student Jose Cazares, who was also at the scene of the shooting, told NBC’s Today show that he credits Landsberry with saving his life.
Jose said the shooter pointed his gun at him while others were running.
“I froze because he was aiming his gun right at my chest. And I looked at the gun and my chest like, ‘He’s going to shoot me,'” he said.
He continued: “[Landsberry] was telling [the shooter] to stop and put the gun down, and then the kid, he yelled out ‘No!’ yelling at him, and he shot him.”
Police have not said what the student’s motive was, but a witness told CBS News: “He pointed to us and he said, ‘You ruined my life and now I’m going to ruin yours.'” Some reports say he was bullied.
Students scattered across the campus and into the surrounding neighbourhood after the shooting began. Witnesses told the Gazette-Journal about how they tried to protect the female students as they called police.
A 13-year-old student, Seth, said he was tasked with watching the shooter and telling a group of hiding students what he was doing.
He said he told the group: “”Be quiet. Try not to be noticeable. Just say strong.”
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