Students at Sparks, Nv., Middle School were preparing to start their first day back at class yesterday after a week off for fall break when they heard a popping noise. Within three minutes, reports the Sacramento Bee, a teacher and a student were dead, two other students were wounded and another community was grappling with the terror of a school shooting. This time the shooter was an eighth-grader who came to campus with a handgun and opened fire on a fellow student on the playground, then shot a teacher and another student before apparently shooting himself.
“He shot a student, and then a teacher tried to stop him and he shot the teacher,” said Abner Lopez, father of an eighth-grader. The slain teacher was Michael Landsberry, 45, an eighth-grade math teacher, soccer coach and former Marine who marked his fifth wedding anniversary last Friday. Within hours of the shooting, students began posting tributes to Landsberry online, and a “Rest Easy Mr. Landsberry” page created on Facebook had nearly 5,000 “likes” and referred to him as the “best teacher there ever was.” Police didn’t immediately identify the shooter or discuss a possible motive. The two wounded students, both 12, were expected to survive.