Authorities are not releasing the name of the shooter who killed popular Sparks Middle School teacher Michael Landsberry and wounded two students Monday morning.
Landbserry, 45, was a math teacher at Sparks Middle School who saved lives by confronting the gunman and allowing time for students to get away from the scene, Chief Michael Mieras of the Washoe County School District said during a Tuesday afternoon press conference.
Landsberry, a former Marine and member of the Army National Guard, started his teaching career at another middle school in 2001 and came to Sparks in 2006, according to Mieras.
The chief said Landsberry was not only “very respected by his peers” but also by students at Sparks Middle School. Mieras added that the popular teacher also coached the boys’ basketball and girls’ volleyball teams.
Landsberry was hailed as a hero for his actions. According to Mieras, he “calmly walked toward the shooter” and “put his hands up in a motion to stop [the shooter’s] actions.” His behavior is what prevented more students from being shot, the chief said.
Authorities were not releasing the identity of the shooter, who killed himself after shooting Landsberry and two students. One student was shot in the shoulder while the other was struck in the abdomen.
Law enforcement did not fire any shots during the incident, authorities said.
A motive for the Sparks Middle School shooting remains unclear as of Tuesday afternoon.
“The answer is we don’t know why right now, but we're proactively trying to determine why,” a law enforcement figure said during the news conference.
A Facebook page, Remembering Mr. Michael Landsberry, was created to honor the slain teacher.
“I Just want everyone to know how A.W.E.S.O.M.E and brave this man was,” wrote Mari Cazares. “He saved my Jojo's life (my son) and some of Jojo's friends lives today. The shooter again was aiming at my son and his friends and as Mr. Landsberry stood in front of them shielding them from the worst. The shooter took this teacher's life as Mr. Landsberry shielded and gave time for our kids to get to safety. He is a true H.E.R.O in my book and always will be!♥ Rest in peace Mr. Landsberry. Our condolences to all the victims involved and their families.”
“Parents sometimes forget what we as teachers are willing to do for their children. Mr. Landsberry is a true American Hero!” added Stacey Bergman Mills.