by AMBER KELLY Photographer
Sparks Middle School in Nevada can be added to the list of school shooting sites as of Monday, October 21. It was on this day that a 12-year-old student, whose name has not been released, brought a semiautomatic gun to school and killed a math teacher, Mike Landsberry, and injured two students; the shooter then turned the gun on himself.
The shooting began shortly after 7 a.m. Monday morning, and while police originally thought the shots had been fired inside the school, it was later discovered that they were actually all fired outside. As of now, no motive has been identified for why the student decided to shoot up the school, but some have speculated that it could be due to bullying.
The one victim, Mr. Landsberry, was well-respected in the school. After graduating from high school, Landsberry joined the marines, and in 2001 when he became a teacher, he also joined the Nevada Air National Guard, serving multiple tours in Afghanistan.
Students witnessed the teacher being shot, saying that he had been trying to talk the gunman down. While trying to protect the other students, the gunman told Landsberry to back up, and when he did, the student pulled the trigger, killing Landsberry.
The two other victims also have not been identified; however, it is known that one was shot in the shoulder and the other shot in the abdomen. Both are in recovery and will be fine. The shooter, on the other hand, shot himself in the head and was pronounced dead when police officers approached his body on the basketball courts outside of the school.
“I can’t believe there has been another school shooting. It seems like these tragedies keep happening, and it’s sad that a serviceman was killed for some unknown reason by a 12-year-old boy. He had been trying to protect others and died because of it. It’s just too upsetting to be seeing shootings like these over and over again. They just need to stop,” says junior Ariana Reyes.
When students of Sparks Middle School were asked about the shooter, many described him as a nice kid. One of the students, Amaya Newton said, “He would make you smile when you were having a bad day.”
It seems like after every shooting, the gunman is always described as being a “nice kid,” but nice children do not go around shooting people. So what is it that makes these children commit heinous acts? Unfortunately, no one really knows.
“I don’t get how all these school shooters are described as nice kids. If you’re so nice, why would you kill somebody, or even want to hurt someone? It just doesn’t make sense. As a student, I don’t understand how someone can do this to others in their school. It’s horrible and I don’t know if anyone will ever really understand why kids do these things,” says junior Sarah Hager.
The Sparks Middle School shooting is not an isolated innocent, as such shootings have been seen all around the United States recently.
Why do you think students commit shootings like these?