compiled by Patrick H. Moore

Another American child has run amuck and because of the easy access to firearms in this country — in this case a semi-automatic handgun — his maniacal outburst has taken the life of a popular middle-school math teacher. The deceased instructor, ex-Marine Michael Landsberry, 45, died heroically so that his students might live. Although that may sound a bit melodramatic, it is the truth. Mr. Lansberry leaves behind a wife and two stepdaughters. Two middle-school children are wounded, one seriously, and the shooter is believed to have taken his own life by turning the semi-automatic handgun on himself. In short, a wasted day of carnage at Sparks Middle School in Sparks, Nevada, just east of Reno. FoxNews. com has the story:

sp7A Sparks police dispatcher — whose office, oddly enough, was located on the middle-school property and adjacent to the actual school buildings — stated that reports of the shooting started coming in at 7:16 a.m. local time.

Kyle Nucum, a 13-year-old student, told the Reno Gazette-Journal that he saw a classmate shoot a teacher.

“We were at the basketball court and we heard a pop, like a loud pop, and everybody was screaming and the teacher came to investigate – I thought it was a firecracker at first, but 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,” he said. “And we ran across the field to get somewhere safe and while we were running we heard about four or five more shots and we just got somewhere safe. This lady let us into her house.”

The student consensus is that Mr. Landsberry was shot after he placed himself between the kid with the gun — who is believed to have been in the seventh grade — and the other students.

spThe authorities agree that Landsberry, who according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal had just celebrated his weeding anniversary on Friday, October 18th, was trying to protect the students when he was killed.

“My estimation is that he is a hero,” said Reno Police Department Deputy Chief Tom Robinson.

“To hear that he was trying to stop that is not surprising by any means,” said his sister-in-law Chanda Landsberry. She added his life could be summed up by his love of family, his students and his country.

On his school website, Michael Landsberry posted a picture of a brown bear and took on a tough-love tone, telling students, as befits a good-natured, somewhat rough-cut ex-marine, “I have one classroom rule and it is very simple: `Thou Shall Not Annoy Mr. L.”‘

“The kids loved him,” Chanda Landsberry said simply.

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Between 150 and 200 officers responded to the shooting. The shooter’s motive is still unknown and the police believe that he had no accomplices.

During  a news conference, Washoe County School District Chief of Police, Mike Mieras, stated that one of the wounded students required surgery, while the other is expected to recover fairly quickly.

sp6Sparks Middle School and the adjacent Agnes Risley Elementary School were evacuated to Sparks High School. At the evacuation center some of the children were in tears with their parents trying to comfort them.

“We came flying down here to get our kids,” said Mike Fiorica, whose nephew attends the school. “… It’s really chaotic. You can imagine how parents are feeling. You don’t know if your kid’s OK.”

Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval said that he was “deeply saddened to learn of the horrific shooting,” and added:“My administration is receiving regular updates and the Nevada Highway Patrol is assisting at the scene.”

Even Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., offered his condolences to students, parents and staff:

“No words of condolence could possibly ease the pain, but I hope it is some small comfort that Nevada mourns with them. I stand by to be of any assistance if there is anything that can be done.”

The school will remain closed for the rest of the week.

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Here are some Facebook messages that were posted memory in Honor of Mr. Landsberry:
















2 Responses to Heroic Nevada Math Teacher Sacrifices His Life to Save His Students in Middle School Shooting

  1. Tara Sonin says:

    Dear Mr Moore,

    I apologize, I couldn’t find a “Contact” email address to reach you through the website, so I am leaving a comment here.

    I am writing on behalf of Harold Schechter’s marketing team. Harold is a notable and prolific true crime writer with decades of experience writing on subjects of historical crime, deviant behavior, perversion, and infamous murders of the 19th and 20th centuries. His acclaimed fiction series based on Edgar Allen Poe has won awards and garnered a large fan base. He is also a professor at Queens College of the City University Of New York. More information on Harold can be found here:

    In working with Harold to begin promotion for his upcoming book, The Mad Sculptor (about the historic triple homicide at Beekman Place in New York City in 1937) we are beginning to plan a Blog Tour for him, and we would love it if the All Things Crime blog would be willing to participate in this tour. The primary goal of the blog tour is to promote Harold’s upcoming book (Published February 18th, 2014) and we think your website would be an optimal location for one of our blog tour stops!

    We have not yet solidified a theme for the tour, but (unless you would prefer otherwise) I will provide you with a few questions to “ask” Harold, as well as the answers to those questions. (They will probably be related to the book: where the idea came from, what the most captivating research was, a question about his career as a crime writer, etc.) We will then promote the tour across Harold’s social media platforms. In advance of the tour (which we are aiming to run in January/February) we have a limited number of ARCs of the Mad Sculptor that can be sent out, if you’d like to read the book in advance.

    Please let me know if you would be interested in participating in this blog tour; we would be thrilled to have the opportunity to promote Harold’s book on All Things Crime.

    Marketing Consultant to Harold Schechter

    • PatrickHMoore says:


      Thank you for this opportunity. I would be delighted to participate in Mr. Schechter’s blog tour and I would love to receive an ARC of his new book. I will email you later today.

      Thanks very much,


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