Two people are dead after a shooting at Sparks Middle School around 7:15am local time this morning. Nevada police say a young gunman killed a teacher who was trying to protect the other children; the shooter died by a self-inflicted gunshot wound, says Sparks' city manager. Two more people have been transferred to a hospital, where they are in critical condition; a hospital rep says both are male minors. The Reno Gazette-Journal reports that the dead staff member is believed to be a "popular math teacher." It spoke to a number of students at the school, which is attended by about 700 seventh- and eighth-graders:
- A 13-year-old student says that "the student was pointing a gun at the teacher after the teacher told him to put it down, and the student fired a shot at the teacher and the teacher fell and everybody ran away."
- A second student says she heard the shooter saying, "Why you people making fun of me, why you laughing at me?"
- An eighth-grader recounts students running into the halls after a shot was fired. "We piled up and put the girls in the back and the guys in the front … for the safety of the girls. He came over to us and started aiming at all of us. ... Then he saw a teacher in the window and shot the window trying to get him. Shot the window twice."
notes that Sparks is located just east of Reno. That city's deputy chief says as many as 200 personnel responded to the school and local area. "The schools are safe. The rest of the city is safe," he says.