After days of saying they could not release his name, Sparks, Nv., officials identified the 12-year-old shooter who this week killed a math teacher and wounded two classmates at his middle school before turning the gun on himself. Officials said the boy, who wielded a 9-millimeter Ruger semiautomatic pistol, was seventh-grader Jose Reyes. Authorities said their unorthodox decision not to release the name of the deceased suspect was meant to protect his family’s privacy. But among Sparks’ 90,000 residents, the shooter’s identity was already widely known, originating from eyewitness accounts and the boy’s friends and family.
Since Monday’s shooting, his name has circulated widely through social media sites and the adolescent rumor mill, but without confirmation from officials it was omitted from most media accounts. “It’s obvious that the name’s out there,” Sparks Mayor Geno Martini acknowledged before the name was released. “But our obligation legally is not to release the name because there’s an ongoing investigation.” Univision News disclosed the boy’s name in broadcast and Web stories Wednesday. The Las Vegas Review-Journal published the name online yesterday. Officials finally released the name yesterday afternoon.