A Sparks Middle School student cries and is comforted after being released from Agnes Risley Elementary School, where some students were taken after a shooting at the middle school in Sparks, Nev.(Kevin Clifford / Associated Press)
A Sparks Middle School student, back to camera, cries with family members after being released from Agnes Risley Elementary School on Monday in Sparks, Nev., after a shooting at Sparks Middle School.(Kevin Clifford / Associated Press)
A Sparks Middle School student and her mother walk near Agnes Risley Elementary School after students were evacuated to the school after a shooting at Sparks Middle School in Sparks, Nev., on Monday.(Kevin Clifford / Associated Press)
SWAT team members secure the scene near Sparks Middle School in Sparks, Nev., after a shooting there on Monday. Authorities are reporting that two people were killed and two wounded at the Nevada middle school.(Kevin Clifford / Associated Press)
SPARKS, Nev.--Flags in Nevada have been ordered to half-staff and tributes continued to pour in Tuesday for a teacher who died trying to intervene when a student at his middle school shot two schoolmates before killing the instructor and himself.
Officials and witnesses said that Sparks Middle School eighth-grade math teacher Michael Landsberry, a former Nevada Air National Guardsman who had done two tours of duty in Afghanistan, tried to intervene before the boy shot him at the school early Monday morning.
Officials were expected to identify the student shooter at a Tuesday morning news conference. Classes have been canceled for the rest of the week and grief counseling has been offered to members of the 640-student school near Reno.
The two students who were wounded have not been identified, and their families have declined to allow the hospital to offer further updates on their progress, a Renown Regional Medical Center spokeswoman told the Los Angeles Times on Tuesday.
Although the investigation was still in its early stages, Tom Robinson, deputy chief of the Reno Police Department, quickly dubbed Landsberry a “hero” on Monday -- a sentiment echoed by U.S. Sen. Harry Reid (D-Nev.).
“Michael Landsberry: Veteran, wonderful math teacher, admired by students, died a hero,” Reid tweeted.
Landsberry’s teaching Web page said the teacher had one classroom rule: “Thou shall not annoy Mr. L.”
He went on:
“You are asking yourself what annoys me, it depends on any given day. Just like you I have good days and bad days. What may bother me one day may not the next. A very good skill to learn is reading people and their moods. ... One of my goals is to earn your respect while you earn mine.
“I believe that with mutual respect that the classroom environment will run smoothly.”
The respect poured in over social media after news of Landsberry’s death began to spread.
Students remembered Landsberry as a tough girl’s soccer coach who pushed his athletes to always do a little more.
Man, having Mr.Landsberry for 8th grade was absolutely the best ! Still can’t believe what happen ... ¿ R.I.P ¿— ¿ Oliver Mendoza ¿ (@OliverOliver190) October 21, 2013
Landsberry was an amazing kind person, and an excellent coach R.I.P— Christian Ramirez (@god_ohh_god) October 21, 2013
Lived as a Hero, died as a Hero. R.i.p ¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿ pic.twitter.com/iYCYTQHcfm— Mayra Rodriguez (@Rod_Mayraaaa) October 21, 2013
When i took a picture with Mr.Landsberry he always told me, “Wait i gotta make sure my hair looks okay” ¿¿— m a r l e n e . (@_marlenedee) October 21, 2013
You were defiantly a hero Landsberry and thats a fact. You will never be forgetten. R.I.P Mike Landsberry .— Jennifer Cruz ¿ (@_Jennaaay_) October 21, 2013
Landsberry may have died but he saved many many lives. May he rest in paradise ¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿— Negitive Nansay (@forever_nansay) October 21, 2013
RIP MR MIKE LANDSBERRY . Everyone who went to sparks middle or was involved into the girls soccer team at SHS knew you. RIP.— Dany (@YahBoyDanny_) October 21, 2013
I remember last year, I would always say I can’t and he would make me do push ups and said " Never say you can’t "— Jennifer Cruz ¿ (@_Jennaaay_) October 21, 2013
A man who took a bullet for the school. That’s what you call a hero.♥— Amy Luna (@luna_amii) October 21, 2013
Goodnight Mr. Landsberry ¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿— Mayra Rodriguez (@Rod_Mayraaaa) October 22, 2013
Mason reported from Sparks, Pearce from Los Angeles. Ari Bloomekatz contributed to this report.