Very little is yet known about the 12-year-old student responsible for yesterday's tragic shooting at Sparks Middle School, just outside Reno, but today we learn that he brought a semiautomic weapon to school that he found at his home. We're also learning more about Michael Landsberry, the math teacher who was the only other fatality in yesterday's events.
According to eyewitnesses, like young Jose Cazares who appeared on the Today show this morning, Landsberry was outside the school greeting students and directly confronted the unidentified shooter on the school's basketball court, standing between the boy and another possible target: Cazares.
"He was telling him to stop and put the gun down. Then the kid, he yelled out 'No!' Like, he was yelling at him, and he shot him. He (Landsberry) was calm, he was holding out his hand like, 'put the gun in my hand.'"
Cazares also said that the boy "didn’t say nothing. He just kept on shooting [the other kids]." The boy arrived on school grounds at 7:15 a.m. and immediately shot another 12-year-old boy in the shoulder. He proceeded walking, encountered Landsberry, shot him after Landsberry intervened, possibly tried to enter the school but could not, and shot one other student before pointing the gun at his own head and taking his own life.
His name is not being disclosed out of respect for his family, however it will most likely arrive on the internet within days.
The motive appears, from at least one account, to relate to bullying. Student Michelle Hernandez was quote Monday as saying that she heard the shooter say, "Why you people making fun of me, why you laughing at me."
As USA Today reports, a memorial page has been set up for Landsberry, who served in Afghanistan as a Marine and was in the Nevada National Guard. He is being hailed as a hero, and it certainly appears that he took a bullet that would have likely killed or wounded another student had he not acted as he did.