Police secure the scene of the shooting at Sparks Middle
School. Photo Reuters
A teacher was shot dead and two students were wounded
when a student opened fire at a middle school in the northern
Nevada city of Sparks before taking his own life.
Both of the wounded students from Sparks Middle School were
listed in critical condition at Renown Regional Medical
Center in nearby Reno, where one of them had undergone
emergency surgery, said Tom Miller, acting Sparks police
"A kid started getting mad and he pulled out a gun and shoots
my friend, one of my friends at least," a seventh-grade
student identified as Andrew told local KOLO-TV. "And then he
walked up to a teacher and says back up, the teacher started
backing up and he pulled the trigger."
"The teacher was just lying there and he was limp, he didn't
know what to do, he was just in a lot of pain," Andrew told
"And me and five other friends went to him and said come on
we've got to get him to safety. We picked him up, carried him
a little bit far and we left him because our vice principal
came along and said go, go, go get to safety, get to safety.
So we left the teacher there and we went to safety," he said.
The incident marked the latest in a string of shooting
rampages across the United States in recent years, some of
them at schools, that have reignited a national debate over
In Connecticut last December, 20 students and six adults were
shot to death by a gunman at a school in Newtown before the
attacker took his own life in what is considered one of the
worst school shootings in US history.
"It's a tragic day for the city of Sparks," Mayor Geno
Martini told a late-morning news conference. "I just want to
reiterate again that the city itself is very safe and this is
just an isolated incident. But it's very, very tragic and I'm
saddened to be here to have to tell you this."
Law enforcement officials said the student gunman opened fire
at 7:16 a.m. local time, about 15 minutes before classes were
scheduled to begin at the school, which serves seventh and
eighth grade students.
"Students are arriving, buses are arriving ... Kids are
congregating out back to play sports or waiting for the first
bell to ring. The bell rings at 7:30," said Mike Mieras,
Washoe County School District police chief.
They said it was too early to tell if the boy, who was not
immediately identified by authorities, was targeting anyone
in the shooting rampage. They declined to speculate on his
motives pending further investigation.
Classes at the middle school and a neighbouring elementary
school were cancelled and authorities said counselors would
be on hand to work with students and staff members who were
traumatized by the shooting.
"My administration is receiving regular updates and the
Nevada Highway Patrol is assisting at the scene," Nevada
Governor Brian Sandoval said in a statement.