Nevada shooter, 12, lashed out over bullying
23 October 2013, 16:57
San Francisco - The 12-year-old student who opened fire on Monday at a Nevada middle school was reacting to bullying, according to news reports on Tuesday.
Authorities have not named the suspect, but said that he took the firearm from his parents' home.
The student at Sparks Middle School fatally shot a math teacher who tried to persuade him to give up the weapon after he had wounded two other students. After shooting the teacher, the boy turned the weapon on himself.
"I heard him saying, 'Why are you people making fun of me? Why are you laughing at me?'" a student named Michelle told the Reno Gazette-Journal, recounting how she and other students hid from the shooter in a locked classroom.
The incident occurred as the school's 600 students were arriving for the start of classes on Monday morning in Sparks, Nevada, 7km east of Reno near Nevada's border with California.
"I was hanging around with my friends, and then a kid started getting mad, and he pulled a gun, and he just shot my friend," one student told local reporters.
The teacher was identified as Michael Landsberry, aged 45, a former US Marine, who according to witnesses had tried to persuade the shooter to put down the gun. He was survived by his wife and two stepdaughters.
"To hear he was trying to protect those kids doesn't surprise me at all," his sister-in-law, Chanda Landsberry, told the Reno Gazette-Journal. "He could have ducked and hid, but he didn't. That's not who he is."